The history of the Clifton Show Society
From humble beginnings the Clifton Show Society has seen many faces come and go and has come a very long way.
Due to severe drought and other years floods and during the world wars the show was not held some years.
1901 saw the first show held at the Recreation Reserve, old photographs show a vice regal party attended (but no names were given)
1904 show information that the show was organised for 28th September but due to heavy rain was put off and held on the 5th of October.
The first shows consisted of a ploughing competition. Similar ploughs are still in collections around the Clifton District today.
1912 saw many events held with pavilion exhibits sewing and cooking, school work (composition on "The Growth and Progress of Clifton District') horse events. We have taken a class from the 1912 schedule the class being "Best Ironed Mans Shirt".
The show society had grounds in Logan Road which became their home for many years.
After World War 2 the show society had no money to run an event, some young women in the district raised money for the committee and held a grand show ball this then put the committee back on track. Since 1963 a show princess competition has been held and it has been with the fundraising that these girls have done that improvements to the show equipment has continued as well as the show being able to bring entertainment to Clifton show that hasn't been seen here. A show ball has been held each year with our winning showgirl entrant going on to compete at the Darling Downs Showgirls awards.
When the show commenced it was a one day event, not that many years later it extended to tow days then in 1961 it was extended to a three day event. Reason being to accommodate more sheep dog entries.
Over the years many sections have come and gone, a pig section was run for many years by Mr. K.B Jones but is no longer held. Trotting was another favourite event held at our show but due to the rules and regulations small shows are unable to hold this event. The event was held at the old grounds and the current grounds.
1982 saw the show move to the current grounds (back to the recreation reserve). The grounds are multi purpose and used by many sporting bodies and the race meeting are held here.
1983 saw fireworks introduced and have become a favourite event of show patrons.
1985 was called "the show without power" as it was staged in the middle of a power strike - we ran with auxiliary power. The show must go on..
1991 there was no sideshow alley
1995 The big wet show - The grounds flooded on the Saturday night leaving many show goers staying in the pavilion
2007 The horse events were cancelled due to an outbreak of horse influenza
In the early shows names such as Logan, Imhoff, Gillam and Flynn appeared as stewards and entrants in events and this is till the case today as well as many other names.
The Clifton show has become the window of our district even more so now with the amalgamation of shires. Clifton will show what our community has to offer and this is done through the show, our pavilion is always filled with farm produce, flowers, cooking, school work, arts and crafts. Many of the local groups have also put up displays to let visitors know what is on offer in our district. The schools have a display area as well.
Many cattle and horse exhibitors have come to Clifton show to learn about showing animals - many of these exhibitors have gone on to become well known ribbon winners at the Royal Shows.
Today youth has become an important issue to shows - Clifton has been holding an All Breeds Stud Heifer show under lights on the Friday evening of the show - the leaders of the cattle all under 25 years. We have had over one hundred heifers entered in this event. It has become popular with the exhibitors and spectators. Many schools who have an Ag section have become keen exhibitors in this event.
Sheepdog trails is also a large event held for many years the trial ran over the three days of the show. With novice and open events being held so once again somewhere for beginners to learn.
Our show is kept running by volunteers and this has been the case for 100 years. Today we rely on many sponsors to be able to run the events that we do.
The show is still a meeting place as it was in the beginning, it is one event held in communities that draw families together.