The History of the Gower Show
The first Gower Show was held on the 20th September 1906 in the grounds of Penrice Castle by kind permission of Miss Emily Talbot. There were 480 entries, and the show was hailed as a great success. It then alternated between Penrice and Kilvrough Home Farm. No shows were held during the First World War and the 1919 Show at Kilvrough was described as Gower’s Peace Show. The 1925 show was the last to be held at Kilvrough, from this date the show was held annually at Penrice. In the early days there were few lorries in Gower, and on Show Day small groups of men and animals would be seen walking towards the showground from all the Gower villages.
The Gower Show was the highlight of the year for many Gower families – the day before would be spent preparing the animals, the children would pick wild flowers for their competition and the mothers would prepare food for the next day. On the day of the show there was a holiday atmosphere with old friends to meet and great celebrations if prices had been won. The show continued until 1939 and the resumed in 1946 at the end of the Second World War. The show continued at Penrice until 1987 when it moved to Fairwood – which lacked the rural feel of a country show and the people of Gower were delighted when in 2002 the Show came back home to Penrice. The well attended centennial show was held on a beautiful day in August 2005.
The Gower Show Book
Many thanks go to Pat Williams for providing the above summary of the History of the Gower Show. As many will know Pat, with the assistance of numerous Society members and friends, has compiled a collection of photographs and narrative on the Gower Show. This has been put together in a book called “One Hundred Years of The Gower Show”
The book traces the history of the Show from its earliest days to the Centennial Show at Penrice Castle Park. It includes memories of competitors over the years and over 200 photographs. It is a fascinating record of a significant part of Gower’s heritage. Anyone who has been involved in the show should make sure they have a copy. There are only a few copies of the book left! Call into the Secretary’s tent on show day to get your copy.