Long Sutton & District

Agricultural Society

- Established in 1837 -

Affiliated to the East of England Agricultural Society

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SOCIETY HISTORY & ACTIVITIES

The Society is a registered charity. Its object is that the Society shall hold demonstrations of farming techniques and for the promotion of and stimulation of interest in Agriculture, Horticulture and their ancillary industries.

The society was originally formed in 1837 but sprung from an even earlier organisation and carried along with it, many of its members.  At the time when the river Nene channel was being improved, farmers in the area had a great deal of trouble with the labour’s, many of whom had been directed to this work because agricultural distress had thrown them on the poor rate.

To protect themselves, the farmers formed an association for the ‘prosecution of Felons’.  At a meeting in 1837 of this association, it was decided that the trouble that had brought it into being was over and the farming members decided to rename it the Long Sutton & District Agricultural Society and continue their fellowship in a different direction. They started many Shows and so began the tradition for so long associated with the thriving Long Sutton Community.

In the early part of the century the Society's funds were exhausted due to a series of Shows dogged by bad weather. The Great War came and a generation of farmers came and passed and not until the second World War was over did a new set of Long Sutton farmers get together and reform the Society and hold their first Show in 1948. These farmers were former members of the agricultural show committee and they had been responsible for many successful Shows held in the war years and immediately after and large sums of money had been distributed to worthy causes. These post war shows were most successful and at one time had the reputation of being one of the finest one-day Shows in the country attracting crowds of 10-12,000.  However a decline in interest in the smaller shows and increasing costs made it imperative there should be some change and in 1969 the society became affiliated to the East of England Agricultural Society.

Full members enjoy the full show facilities of the East of England Agricultural Society. The alternative local membership only includes the Society's own events.

During the Seventy's the Society developed the “Tractors at Work Field Event”. The 15th such demonstration was held in 1986 and was supported by most major British and European manufactures, attracting another good attendance.  Following the event it was decided to switch to a biennial format. The 1988 demonstration was cancelled due to the 1987 outbreak of rhizomania in Suffolk.

More recently the Society has held three working demonstrations with the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club in 97, 98 and 99. Videos and DVD’s are still available for the enthusiast.

The Society organises a summer visit each year to local places of interest. Past visits have included the Long Sutton Butterfly Park, a hog roast, Newmarket Races, Elgoods Brewery, Dalby Hall Estates, and Bateman’s Brewery.

The Annual Dinner is well supported by agricultural and ancillary trades and is a popular event.

The Society annually awards Travel Grants and makes donations to local charities. The travel scholarships are awarded to individuals or groups of young people from the Long Sutton area to help finance agricultural study visits. In addition the Society awards grants to the local Schools and Colleges to assist with visits to places of agricultural interest in the British Isles.

 

 

All contents © Long Sutton & District Agricultural Society 2008. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No. 212056