In 1875 the people of Minsterley decided to have their own show and so formed the Minsterley & District Horticultural & Athletic Sports Society. The rules of the society state ‘That the object of this Society shall be to improve the cultivation, neatness, productiveness, and arrangement of gardens in the neighbourhood, by means of Prizes; also to provide a day of amusement for the Inhabitants of the District’ and so in those early days the competition was mainly horticultural and local gardens were judged and there was also a prize for the best school garden plot. There were many classes for vegetables and also eggs and dressed poultry and for farmers, for mangolds and swedes. Children’s classes included a collection of wild flowers and for the best nightdress made in the school. On show day one of the greatest attractions was the horse racing and this was well supported by miners from Snailbeach and surrounding areas for whom it was the big event of the year!
The earliest schedule the Committee have is dated 1906 and which states that the Patron was the Marquis of Bath, the President, W. Clive Bridgeman Esq. And the Chairman, Thomas Hutton Esq. who was agent for the Bath Estate and who, amazingly, was chairman of the show for forty years! The Show carried on through the First World War and the 1919 show saw a record attendance of 2383 and 707 attended the dance in the evening (on a boarded floor in the village hall!) The Horticultural Section was staged in the Parish Hall and the fields behind the hall were the show ground for cattle, sheep and pigs and the horse racetrack.. Simon & Greotrix’s up-to-date Electric Roundabouts were regularly present at the Show. The profit on the show was £40 0s. 11d. Admission receipts were £91 15s. 10p. and £28 2s. 0d. taken at the dance but amongst the expenses were Luncheons for Judges, Reporters and Helpers £4 12s. 6d., Hire of Band and Piano £16 13s. 6d., ballroom polish 3s.0d. and Inland Revenue Stamps £19 17s. 2d. Prize money was £56 2s. 6d.
In 1924 Dairy Classes were added with the Wathes Minsterley Creamery sponsoring the prize money in the sum of £5 0s 0d. The Minsterley Dairy was still a sponsor up until 2010 sponsoring the main attraction. In 1927 and1928 classes for the ladies included ‘The Best Decorated Princess Petticoat’, the best darned stockings!, the best overall, the best pinafore and the best knitted baby’s vest – quite a variety. In these two years “the financial results of the show were rather disappointing” with losses of £26 0s. 0d. and £11 2s. 0d. respectively. Attendances were reported down at both the show and the dance but it is supposed that another reason for the financial shortfall was that the subscription to the Society of 1/- per annum which entitled “labouring men (i.e. persons employed in some heavy handicraft, but not master tradesmen) to become members and also compete for prizes” had not changed for forty years!
In 1929 the second Viscount Bridgeman was elected president and he held that position for forty seven years.
In 1931 the name of the society was changed to ‘Minsterley & District Horticultural, Agricultural & Sports Society.
In 1933 a Boxing Tournament was held at the Show – but only for one year!
In 1937 the Show was held for the first time on a Saturday – but, again, only for one year! Public Liability Assurance went up to £1 0s. 0d. after remaining at 10s. 0d. since 1925 and dancing was in ‘the spacious Village Hall’ from 8p.m. – 12p.m. Admission 1/6d. Dancing to Hal Jones & His Band from Wellington.