The Royal Show was an annual agricultural show/fair held by the Royal Agricultural Society of England every year from 1839 to 2009. Early venues for the show included Park Royal in London; Wolverhampton Race Course now West Park (1871); Wrottesley Park, Staffordshire (1937), and Victoria Park, Leamington Spa. From 1968 it was held in Stoneleigh Park (previously known as the National Agricultural Centre or NAC) near Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, England. The first show at Stoneleigh lasted four days and attracted 111,916 visitors.
The event encompassed all aspects of farming, food and rural life - from the best of British livestock to the latest business and technological innovations in the farming industry. Over 1,000 stands, world-class lifestock and equine classes attracted visitors from over 100 countries.
On 3 April 2009, organisers said the 2009 show would be the last. The Agricultural Buildings Show has taken over in part from the Royal Show at Stoneleigh Park.
Royal Show 2007
More than 140,000 visitors were expected to attend the 2007 show; however, bad weather forced the show to close early for the first time in its history. Torrential rains left the showground saturated and police and show organisers took the decision to close the show a day ahead of schedule "to ensure the safety and welfare of the public, traders and exhibitors".
Two of the showground's car parks were closed on Monday evening after drivers had to be towed free. A further 30 acres (12 ha) of barley and hay fields were mown to provide additional parking on the Tuesday.
The decision was described as "heartbreaking" by the Royal Agricultural Society of England. John Moverley, RASE Chief Executive, said the financial implications of the wet weather and closing the show early were being assessed. "We haven’t got exact figures, but it looks as though we are down by about 10% for the first two days on last year," he said.
- Frank Sharman. "Exhibitions Great and Small". Wolverhampton History and Heritage Website. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "The Big Question: What is the Royal Show, and why is it coming to an end after 170 years?". London: The Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2012.[dead link]
- The Royal Show
- End of an era for Royal Show
- Royal Show 2007 - event report - 29/06/2007 - FarmersWeekly
- Wet weather forces Royal Show to abandon final day - 03/07/2007 - FarmersWeekly