The Gilsland Gala and Foal Show Society was formed in 1914 following the demise of the Nether Denton Foal Show.

Preparation was made for the first Show to be held on the first Saturday in September but due to the 1st World War it was decided at a meeting of the society on Tuesday Aug 18 1914. "That owing to the unsettled state of the country owing to the operation of the war and the great doubt existing as to the procreation of entries and other matters it unanimously decided on the motion of MR J Elliot and Seconded by the Chairman Mr Henderson that the show be cancelled".

So the first Show was held in 1915 with horses, ponies, dogs and sheep as well as classes for Butter, Eggs and Bread - and also Running Long Jump, Wrestling 11 stone, Cup Smashing, Old Penny Pitching and Pillow Fight!

The popularity of the Horse and Pony Showing classes led to the need for a separate Equestrian Show and since 1999 this has been held at the end of July/beginning of August. Pony sports remain a fixture on the main Agricultural Show day.

First AGM

For those of you interested in local history here are the minutes for the AGM of 1914 - I am sure you will find some familiar names here !

The first Annual General Meeting of the Gilsland Gala and Foal Show Society was held in the Reading Room Gilsland on Monday evening February 2 1914 at 7 o’clock.

Mr Adam Fenwick was voted to the chair pro term.

Present - The Revd W G Baird, Messrs J C Hall, Jos Elliott, R W R Wright, John Waugh, Charles Wilson, J Nicholson, Jos Messer, M Henderson, V Armstrong, W Richardson, Irwin Wright, M Dodd, W Howe, M Smith, J Baldry, Adam Fenwick, Irving Bushby, W Green, R H Shaw, J McDonald, S Blackburn, T Armstrong, J Woodmass and C J Dobinson.

Resolved unanimously that Mr M Henderson, be appointed Chairman of the of the Society for the ensuing year.

On the motion of Revd W G Bird it was unanimously agreed that the statements it acts as read bypassed.

The Secretary report was read and approved. Proposed by Mr M Dodd seconded by Mr R W R Wright that Everard J Lamb Esq of Scotby House be elected first President of the Society carried unanimously.

The following Gentlemen were nominated as Vice Presidents

Christopher Lowther Esq Accepted

Hugh Jackson Esq Accepted

Samuel Blackburn Esq Accepted

George Schuster Esq Accepted

Earl Percy Accepted

R D Holt Accepted

Edward Joicey Accepted

Sir Chas Milburn Accepted

Revd W G Bird Accepted

Mr George Robson was unanimously appointed Hon Treasurer.

Mr C J Dobinson was unanimously appointed Secretary.

The Committee appointed were as follows -

Messrs M Dodd, A D Wright, R W R Wright, Wm Bell, R H Shaw, Thomas Armstrong, Robson Forster, A Yeats, Jon Woodmass, Irving Bushby, J Waugh, Adam Fenwick, Joseph Elliot, J G Phillips, J C Hall, Irwin Wright, W Richardson, V Armstrong, I Baldry, Charles Wilson, Wm Green, J McDonald.

Resolved unanimously that should any vacancy arise that the committee have full power to fill it up.

Resolved that Mr Wm Bell of Station House and Mr A D C Wright be re-appointed Auditors.

It was unanimously agreed to hold the next show on the first Saturday in September, but should anything arise to interfere with this fixture that the Committee have full power to alter it to a week later or a week earlier.

It was unanimously agreed that the radius of the Society be confirmed to Brampton and Haltwhistle Unions also Stapleton and Bewcastle.

Resolved that a sub-com: of six persons be formed to draw up the rules and submit them to adjourned General Meeting of the Members -


Messrs M Henderson, M Dodd, J C Hall, R W R Wright, Jon Woodmass and George Robson.

Moved by Mr M Dodd, Sec by J Baldry that the Secretary be paid a salary of £5 per year for his services.

Secretary’s Report was read as follows.

Mr Chairman and Gentlemen,

I have much pleasure in submitting to you my first annual report of the Gilsland Gala and Foal Show Society. The Statement of Accounts which I have just read shows a balance of £7.7.3 to the credit of the Society in addition to which we hold prizes to the value of 20/- also since the accounts were made up a cheque value £2.13.1 has been paid over from the Nether Denton Foal Show Society, making a grand total of £1,0,4 a position which any Society would be proud to occupy in its year of infancy, and to my mind anqurs well for its future success. If you take into account the bad weather we had to encounter, I think it is simply marvellous.

For this state of affairs I feel much indebted to an energetic Committee whom I desire to thank most cordially. In the selection of your new committee I trust you will act discreetly and appoint as many of the old Committee as you may think most useful and desirable, regardless of any favouritism as so much depends upon the selection make - think well before you nominate anyone, then act accordingly.

Having made full reference to the past let me now turn to the future with which we are much more concerned, as the past is beyond recall.

It is my earnest belief that a great future lies ahead of this Society if the management look well ahead and work in harmony, as there is every facility and great historical attractions.

The train service is excellent, the accommodation both for man and beast is excellent, and the scenery is also most excellent; It is an extensive and good farming district, approached by good roads and close to the Station, what more could we desire.

The far-famed Blue Grey Cattle are cradled within our area, so are the Blackfaced and Cross-bred sheep. Therefore in drawing up your prize list for 1914, I suggest to you that classes for this kind of stock be added to the list of premiums.

There should also be classes for Butter, Eggs and Bread which would enlist the Support of the Ladies, then again, if you think it would add to the attraction of the show, tempt the shepherd by making classes for his dog, and don’t forget the general purpose Horse.

Should you decide to continue the Hound Trail it must be well thought out and started before the Show commences, as last year you will remember what a lot of confusion it caused in our general arrangements.

Gentlemen, I commend these suggestions to you favourable and wise consideration, and trust you will act with discretion in all you undertake on behalf of the society

I am Gentlemen,

Yours faithfully

C J Dobinson Hon Sec


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