History of the Show
South East Clare Show History
As the proverb says ”From a little acorn grows a mighty oak”.This is true of the South East Clare Show which takes place annually in Bridgetown, Co. Clare on the last Sunday in July.
The Show came about quite casually and developed gradually from an ambitious thought to a reality.
An evening conversation in Guinavan’s Bar , Bridgetown in 1989winter’ agreed that the local area needed a boost and some type of event to put Bridgetown on the map – a great idea of a gymkana was discussed, as many horse owners and enthusiasts in the area.
A meeting was agreed for all horse owners in the immediate and surrounding areas to attend on a Winter’s November night in 1989. Fifty Two people attended the meeting and discussed the possibility of Bridgetown being the venue for an annual Horse Show. Money of course was a concern and also required to get this started and to cater for registration and most importantly insurance needs.
A gentleman produced a 20 pound note and placed it on the bar counter, within 20 minutes all people in attendance arrived at a total starting sum of 1,500 irish pounds. This generosity confirmed that there was a great desire for Bridgetown to be the venue for a 1990 Horse Show. But this show was for everybody including families, children, Horticulture & Home Baking, Vintage enthusiasts.
The Show Committee was formed ! Many late nights were had as potential show plans were put in place by the dedicated group of people.
The first show date July 22nd arrived –a beautiful sunny morning – it was “All go” early morning as people arrived to set up their stalls, exhibitors arrived and visitors arrived – curious as to what was happening in this local town …. It proved a great success as 5,000 was excitedly counted as takings for the day!
Twenty Five years on the Annual Event has welcomed many committee members through out the years- each person bringing their own experience and dedication – ensuring that each year event was a huge success.
We look forward to celebrating 29 Years this year on July 28th !
Eddie & Eileen Guinivan
Images of Days Gone By
Bridgetown Agricultural Society
The following information on the establishment of the Bridgetown Agricultural Co-operation Society was taken from Edward E Lysaght book Sir Horace Plunkett. “His Place in the Irish Nation” Published 1916.
In his introduction he wrote, it is almost impossible to pick any one village in Ireland to illustrate the successful working of the Co-operation idea. I choose Bridgetown, Co. Clare simply because I know the place intimately having been a regular visitor to Mr Ernest Brown at Clonboy who was one of the first landlords to identify himself with the aspirations of the Co-operate movement. Nearly all my facts were gleamed from a single visit and a few hours talk with the local Secretary Mr Hogan who gave me what information he though fit.
The Bridgetown Agricultural Society was started in August 1911; no trading was done until January 2nd 1912. It was registered the 11th November 1911, under the Industrial and Provident Act 1893.
The turnover of the Society trading in the Agricultural goods was £741 18s. 7 ½d, and that year the Society met a loss of £12 8s. 3d, which was due to uneducated co-operators, and we had to meet the competition of the day.
In 1913 a Hired Implement Society was attached, consisting of 1 horse sprayer, 1 potato digger and 1 manure distributor. Value of machines at end, less depreciation, was £42 6s. 4d. Total earnings for year were £17 9s. 9d. The Agricultural Department turnover of this year was £1153 2s. 7 ½d. The result of 1913 trading was a net profit of £6 8s. 5d.
In 1914 the Society’s turnover was £1492 16s. 10d. earnings of hired implement were £12 17s. The result of the 1914 trading was a net profit of £11 1s. 8d.