The Melplash Agricultural Society Show is one of the South West’s premier agricultural exhibition and is held at The West Bay Show grounds, Bridport, Dorset on last Thursday before the August Bank holiday. The first show was held in 1847.
Origins of The Melplash Agricultural Society
Whilst the exact details may be uncertain, the origins of the Society and the Melplash Show go back to the day that the church was consecrated on 20th October 1846. The Church had been built by Mr James Bandinell of Melplash Court, a well known benefactor, and a new parish was carved out of the parish of Netherbury.
On the same day a ploughing match, was held to resolve a dispute between two farmers as to whose ploughman was the better. Each staked £5, a not inconsiderable sum in those days, and in the celebrations put on for the consecration of the church and at the feast that was held in the Melplash Inn, now the Half Moon, the assembled farmers and landowners agreed to form the Melplash Agricultural Society and hold a ploughing competition open to all comers on 20th October 1847. So began the association between Church, Village, Society, Ploughing Match and Show.
Today, the Society is a registered charity (charity number 1130201) with the aim of promoting and improving agriculture and horticulture in West Dorset for the public benefit. The Board of Directors and trustees provide guidance and governance regarding the overall running of the charity and ensuring the aims and objectives of the charity are complied with at all times.
- Chairman – Mr Will Frost
- Vice Chairman – Mrs Jo Sage
- Treasurer – Mr Charles Dupont
- Company Secretary – Ms Lucy Hart
- 2017 President – Mr Ralph Newman
- Mr Marcus Beresford, CBE
- Mr Dan Newman
- Mr Richard King
- Mr George Rendell
- Mr Philip Crawford
- Mr Philip Hardwill
- Mr George Streatfeild
- Brigadier John Dean
- Mr Robert Bowditch
- Mr Nigel Jones
- Mr James Vickery