The ‘Friendly Show’ is ready to roll this weekend, but in 1898 the weather wasn’t so welcoming to show-goers.
Historian Alan Clark turned the clock back 110 years to uncover the events that folded as the 13th annual Kangaroo Valley Show prepared to get underway.
It appeared doomed when in early February the district was hit by its worst flood in 28 years.
With the Hampton Bridge opened only days earlier, the floodwaters that rushed down the Kangaroo River took the old bridge with them, saving the Works Department the trouble.
The Kangaroo Valley Agricultural and Horticultural Association did not panic and simply postponed the two-day show for a week.
The weather fined up, attendance was better than the previous two years, and The Kangaroo Valley Times reported that the show was an “unqualified success”.
Among the prizewinners was John King who earlier in the month had held centre stage by driving his buggy to the centre of the new bridge, from where he declared it to be officially open.
Among the exhibitors to travel from the Nowra district was Henry Weigand who took prizes for his double buggy, sulky and iron plough.
One section that attracted special attention was Best Trimmed Lady’s Hat, by local lady amateur. First prize was awarded to the Misses Huxley.
In the pavilion the Kangaroo River Dairy Company scooped the pool with three first prizes for its butter, which took the total to 15 prizes in the season for manager D.C Pryce.
Some of the vegetables had to be shown in commercial quantities, for there were entries of 28 pounds for onions, turnips and mangold wurzel.
The publican’s booth were conducted by Jonathon Vincent of the Pioneer Hotel.
However his profits were restricted when he had to stop selling liquor at 3pm because a letter from the licensing authority confirming the change of date had not arrived in the mail.
The success of the event drew praise for the new secretary, Bill Randall, for his methodical and businesslike arrangements.