4 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

16. Lincoln Agricultural

16. Lincoln Agricultural and Pastoral Exhibition. Lyttelton Times. 6 November 1872. Courtesy of Papers Past. 48

The Times also commented that the trip from Christchurch to Lincoln was a pleasant one, as it still is today, and that the quality of the wheat seen on the way reinforced the view that the district was one of the most fertile in Canterbury. Further, there were many new homes, doubtless similar to Liffey Cottage, and while more trees were desirable it was clear that planting had not been neglected. As far as Lincoln village itself was concerned, the dominant building, as seen from the fair ground, was the Perthshire Arms, an hotel of some twenty rooms, “in all the glory of its first coat of paint - a brilliant red”. The show ground was enclosed by a gorse fence, easy to breach in places, so that about 200 people were able to gain entry without paying the shilling charged at the gate. The attendance was a large one and despite the modest fee, gate takings amounted to 22 pounds 5 shillings and 6 pence which together with those who entered through the hedge, represented about 800 visitors. For a sparsely populated district this number suggests that there was considerable interest in the show. There were classes for sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, implements, dairy produce and local manufactures, as well as a class for special entries. The number of entries for each class was not great, only occasionally exceeding five, and often fewer than that number. The only entries in the implement section were a single plough, a double furrow plough, and harrows, made either by Blyth or McPherson, blacksmiths from Prebbleton and Lincoln respectively. There was only one entry in the local manufactures category, that of 18 gallons of beer by the recently established Lincoln brewery of W. Geddes and Company, which was awarded first prize although it was not of a particularly high standard. That evening, club members and invited dignitaries, including the Revd. W.J.G. Bluett (MHR and first president of the Ellesmere Farmers’ Club) and the Mayor of Christchurch, sat down to dinner at the Perthshire Arms. It was a convivial evening. Toasts were proposed, the prize list was read out, and complimentary remarks were made about the organisers of the show and of farmers’ clubs in general. In his response to the visitors’ toast the Revd. Bluett spoke of the need for the establishment of one good university and a school of agriculture, supporting the views put forward earlier by FitzGerald and Peryman. Mr. Knight emphasised the value of the Farmers’ Club to the district which, amongst other matters, had successfully lobbied for the re-routing of the Southbridge railway line through Prebbleton and Lincoln. 49

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