The Story of
Over 40 years have passed since I
became involved in the organisation of
Emley Show. During that time I have seen
it grow to the huge charitable company
that exists today, enabling exhibitors and
contestants to present to the general
public with a showpiece of the very best
of countryside pursuits, occupations,
interests and craftsmanship.
I am delighted and feel honoured to be
elected as your President for the year
of the 100th Show and look forward to
meeting as many of the society’s guests,
members, exhibitors and visitors as
possible on Show Day.
I often wonder what the villagers of the
first little Show in 1893 on a football field
on Emley Moor would think of us if they
were here. I hope they would be pleased
with what they had started.
President, Emley Show Society 2017
An Early History of Emley
Emley is a village in West Yorkshire
between Huddersfield and Wakefield. In
the Domesday Book of 1086 it was listed
as ‘Amalaie’ and dates back to Anglo-
Saxon times. As well as Emley Show,
Emley is also famous for the Emley Moor
Transmitter Mast, Emley Football Club and
the Emley Boundary Walk.
The Emley Boundary Walk is a traditional
event that began in 1857 and happens
every 7 years. It involves a walk of
approximately 13 miles around the
boundary of Emley. The 2014 walk was a
very successful event, albeit a very wet
Emley is also home to AFC Emley – a
non-league football club that made
national headlines when they progressed
to the 3rd round of the FA Cup, beating
Morecambe and Lincoln City en route.
The team moved to Wakefield in 2000
and became Wakefield & Emley FC but
returned as AFC Emley in 2005 to the
village’s Welfare Ground.
Emley Moor Transmitting Station
(also known as Emley Moor Mast) is a
broadcasting and telecommunications
facility based just outside the village of
Emley. It is a Grade II concrete tower and
is the tallest free standing structure in the
UK – being visible from all across West
Yorkshire. It is also well known for its
failure in 1969 when the cylindrical steel
mast was catastrophically brought down
by a combination of high winds and a
coating of ice.
held in 1893, however during wartime
periods and because of animal diseases
and inclement weather, the Show was not
always able to go ahead, therefore, we
celebrate our 100th Show this year (2017).
Over the years, the Show has been held
on several different sites around the
village to accommodate it’s growing size
and visitor numbers.
Emley may only be a relatively small
village but our Show is acknowledged as
an important event in the Show Calendar.
Our site on Emley Moor is acclaimed for
the magnificent panoramic views of the
Pennines; these particular views can only
be accessed on Show Day.
The Emley Show society exists to
promote agricultural interests and raise
funds to support local enterprises and
individuals. At the same time we hope
we are providing an enjoyable family day
out for the wider community. The Show is
over 120 years old – with the first Show
Early Show Reports
Although the Show started in 1893
early reports are limited. This one from
1899 illustrates how both the Show has
changed as well as use of the English
centred in the horse and cattle sections, which
although not particularly well filled, included
some good stock, especially in the class for
draught horses. The horticultural classes were
all open, but they only attracted local growers,
and the quality generally was mediocre.
Foremost among the successful exhibitors
were Messers, B. Mountain, T. Wilson, R.
Micklethwaite, G. Smith, Gen, H. Bedford,
Allen Hadley, J. Robinson and A Oldroyd.’
Our Centennial Show
The Show you will see today would
be unrecognisable to our forebears;
established by our late Victorian tenant
farmers and their families, who would
also have made up the bulk of both the
competitors and the visitors, more than
likely it would have fitted into one field.
The timing of the Show was dependant on
the type of farm that was offering to host it
EMLEY AGRICULTURAL SHOW
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
(Tuesday 5th September 1899)
‘The sixth annual show promoted by
the Emley and District Agricultural and
Horticultural Society was held in the Cricket
Field on Saturday afternoon, and was well
attended. Amid the exigencies (an urgent
need or demand) of Sunday railway traffic
report, which should have appeared yesterday,
miscarried. Most of the interest appeared to be
An extract from the 27th annual Show, at
this point the Show was held in Blacker’s
Field, Emley, Wakefield.
So, by the 1970s the Show had outgrown
the single field offering available in the
village and moved down into the valley
bottom. Our hosts there were the Gill
brothers, Frank (of White Cross Farm) and
David (of Yew Farm). It remained there
for 30 years before the Show outgrew its
It was only a matter of time before we
either outgrew the land, or the land forced
us off. In 2007, during the week preceding
the Show, torrential rain caused the slope
of the hill on one side of the showground
to overwhelm the land drains and it was
soon obvious to all that the Show would
have to be cancelled.
So, like Noah before us, we sought the
sanctuary of higher ground and in 2008
accepted the offer of the Hampshire
family to use their land “At the foot of the
So, we arrive at today’s Show Ground and
the hospitality of Mrs Pat Hampshire BEM;
with her son Richard of Factory Farm, on
The first Emley Show took place.
It has since grown to be one of
the best attended and respected
agricultural days out in Yorkshire.
The First World War ended on
11th November, after 4 years, 3
months and 2 weeks of fighting.
The Second World War ended
on 2nd September, after 6 years
and 1 day.
On the 28th July the First World
War started. During wartime
periods the Show didn’t go
On the 1st September the
Second World War started, again
the Emley Show didn’t go ahead
during this period.
Sylvia Edmondson’s Recollections of Emley Show (2004)
“In 1940 Britain was at war again; all
towns and villages were asked to provide
some entertainment because the war
news was very depressing at this time”.
The Emley Show was held on the (old)
village cricket field, Sylvia remembers
her brother being dragged across the
field by a bull calf. In attendance that
year, showing a pen full of sheep, was an
11yr old David Gill, who later became a
member and eventually Chairman of the
After the war things seemed to have
become a little more organised, however
there was no ‘legacy’ money from before
the war so some serious fundraising
had to take place in order for a Show
to go ahead at all. But it wasn’t just the
farmers and equestrian fraternity who
supported the Show, local villagers had
developed a strong interest in poultry and
rabbits, as well as other small livestock, to
supplement their rations during the war.
In 1948 Sylvia was asked by the then
Chairman; Mr Horton (Land Agent for
Savile Agent), to form a Ladies Section.
Although Sylvia was a Section Secretary
she wasn’t invited to attend meetings, as
they were inevitably held in pubs, from
which single ladies were discouraged
Sylvia’s Father, John Moorhouse, was
Treasurer by now but never lost his
passion for the Cattle classes and
debating their attributes with his cronies.
As the Show got bigger he had more
money to deal with, so he sought
the help of his local bank manager in
Skelmanthorpe who put him on to the
Main Office in Huddersfield. Very shortly
after these introductions John Moorhouse
was supplied with two young men to
handle and guard the money every Show
day. Right from the start of his involvement
John had invited Judges, friends etc.
back to his house for tea, it had always
been a full house, most of them complete
strangers to Sylvia and her Mother, so
it was nothing out of the ordinary for
these two young men to be invited
back also. They had their tea sitting on
the bag of money, taking it to the night
safe in Huddersfield afterwards. They
then returned to spend the rest of the
evening over a bottle of beer with Sylvia’s
Father and she had hoped they would
accompany her to the Young Farmers
dance... but no such luck.
Sylvia’s Father died in 1956 and Sylvia
remembers these two lads still helping
out. That year the Show took place in
one of the Moorhouses’ fields, thus it
was very convenient to nip home rather
than use the basic facilities of the Show.
Upon arriving home she found the front
door wide open and three men queuing
up to use the phone, they were reporters
phoning in the results to their respective
papers! In the front room was Lord Savile
sitting in splendid isolation watching the
cricket on their television.
These can only be, of course, a fragment
of the memories Sylvia had of her
involvement with the Show, over 50 years
worth, regrettably we never got round to
interviewing her again before her death in
“An awful lot of hard work, effort and ones
own money was contributed to get this
Show off the ground after the war and
I wish they could see it now, but I hope
you continue the hard work and make
the effort so that the Show goes from
strength to strength, thank you all for
aiming to achieve this - All Best Wishes
for the future.” - Sylvia Edmondson nee
For her many years of service, The Emley
Show Society bestowed on Sylvia the role
of Vice President for Life.
Emley Moor Colliery was
opened. By the following year it
employed over 500 people.
The original 135-metre lattice
tower was erected to provide
broadcasts to the Yorkshire area.
On 19 March, strong winds and
the weight of ice that had formed
around the top of the mast forced
the structure to collapse.
The costs associated with the
Show were around £756, the
equivalent to around £8,000
The original mast was replaced
by a taller 385.5 metre guyed
mast, identical to the structure at
Belmont transmitting station in
Heroes of the Black Stuff
Our Show has and is very much about
celebrating farming and its related
activities but not everyone in the area was
involved in farming. This part of Yorkshire
has long had a tradition in another
industry that was key to the growth of this
great nation and sustainability during the
industrial revolution and the great wars.
During the 16th century there were
several small mines at work in and around
Emley. The coal seams in this part of the
Pennine foothills are thin and throughout
the eighteenth century the mines were
operated by a few men, usually not more
than six per mine. In the 1939 to 1945 war,
and in the 1950’s and 1960’s, open cast
mining became a common sight in the
Emley Moor was a smaller colliery which
opened in 1948. By the following year, it
employed 402 underground and 116 on
the surface. It had the distinction of being
the last in Yorkshire to use a pick and
shovel to extract coal, with the last face
being mechanised around 1983.
Sadly, the mining industry is all but gone.
However, we should not forget all those
individuals who worked so hard above
and below ground to keep the nation
fuelled. Many of those men attended the
Emley Show for years as a relaxing day
away from the darkness and grime of
their workplace. We should also take the
opportunity to pay homage to those who
lost their lives in this dangerous industry.
RING ONE (All times are approximate)
11:00 Welcome from the Organisers followed by Emley Band :
11:10 Display by Wise Owl Birds of Prey Rescue Centre
11:30 Knights of the Crusades
12:15 Ferret World Road Show
12:50 Vintage Tractor Parade or Vintage Cars
13:15 Rockwood Harriers
13:40 Children’s Ridden Fancy Dress
14:05 Driven Donkey Classes
14:30 Display of Wise Owl Birds of Prey Rescue Centre
14:50 Ferret World Road Show
15:25 Grand Parade – Shire Horses, Champions of Cattle, Sheep and Goats Classes
16:00 Knights of the Crusades
RED CAR PARK &
JAGGER LANE TURNS RIGHT
FOR LIVESTOCK SECTION
E P R H CB B
2 3 4 5
TO WHITE CAR PARK
NOT TO SCALE
FREE BUS STOP
EMLEY BRASS BAND
COOKERY, CRAFTS, ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
HONEY, STICKS & WOODTURNING
RED PAY GATE
BLUE PAY GATE
WHITE PAY GATE
There is a Free Bus Service to Emley Cross every hour
after 09:00am and every half hour after 11:00am. Last
Bus from here is 17:45pm.
Hand wash Stations are situated close by all the large
livestock areas. If you stroke or pet any of these, for their
sake as much as yours, please wash your hands.
BLUE CAR PARK
Things to do
away from the Ring
We are pleased and proud to welcome representatives from Huddersfield Town Football
Club, along with their recently won Championship Trophy and their mascot, who will be
available for photographs with YOU!!!
This years Show sees an impressive extension to our equestrian rings with additional
events and attractions. We are delighted to have two new prestigious qualifying classes
in our horse section. Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) are sponsoring both the RoR Open
in hand Class 39a and the RoR Amateur Ridden Class 42. Staying with the equestrian
theme we are proud to have The Northern Racing College at this years Show, along with
their ‘equiciser,’ so come along and test your skills as a jockey, wear the silks and take the
Other attractions away from the main ring include Cookery, Craft, Art & Photography
Sections, Vintage Tractors, Horticulture & Stickmaking Classes.
For the kids and young at heart, watch out for PC’s Bluey & Konk strolling around or visit
the fairground with rides suitable for all ages along with dodgems, go-karts, bouncy bungee
trampoline, Red Arrows simulator, climbing wall and supervised krazy play sessions. Also
come along and see our Alpacas, Donkeys, Birds of Prey and Wise Owls.
Food is available at the tapas cafe, near the bar area and throughout the site with stalls
selling sandwiches, nachos, fish & chips and burgers. Also look out for Charlotte’s
ice-cream and the public bar.
From Emley Moor to Upton Park
Emley Show has always been about
competition and over the years there
have been some great battles both in and
out of the Show rings. Cries of support
have filled many a field, but one game
in particular has been a favourite of the
locals for years.
Almost 20 years ago, our village football
team took a couple of thousand followers
to the east end of London. After battling
their way through four qualifying rounds,
Ronnie Glavin’s side found themselves in
the third round of the F.A Cup, with Harry
Redknapp’s West Ham United lining up
beside them in the tunnel at Upton Park.
Five Divisions and 116 League places
separated them from their opposition; this
was Emley’s Cup Final.
Just four minutes in, future England
international Frank Lampard put the
hosts ahead. Perhaps West Ham were a
touch complacent on the day, failing to
capitalise on their early lead as many may
have expected, or was it the horrendous
conditions halted their superiority? Either
way Emley never thought of themselves
as inferior. Cue Paul David’s header in the
56th minute. It was 1-1; the improbable had
happened and as things stood a home
replay was on the cards.
There were big names present in the
West Ham side that day; Rio Ferdinand,
Stan Lazaridis and John Hartson to name
a few. Just imagine the headlines, the
tale of village underdogs managing a 1-1
draw against Premier League opposition.
A replay could have been the perfect
opportunity for Glavin to mastermind a
The second leg was in touching distance,
the fans could already smell the match
day hot dogs and the anticipation of what
they were about to achieve hung in the air
at Upton Park.
Sadly, it was all too good to be true. Wales
international John Hartson stepped up
in the 82nd minute to dash all hopes of
Emley securing the replay they wanted
so badly. Emley were beaten, but not
A passionate team of local blokes gave
their all that day and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Harry Redknapp himself stated, “They
worked their socks off and played some
good football. They were tremendous.
They were outstanding. If I said I knew we
were in control and just waiting for us to
score the winner, I’d be lying.”
An extremely proud day for the village and
all those involved.
To find out where all of today’s activities are, please refer to the map located
inside this pull-out program.
Tale of the Tower
The bitter cold weather of March 1969 had
started to take its toll on the iconic mast
situated on Emley Moor. Large formations
of ice had accumulated resulting in the
tower becoming too heavy, with days of
freezing wind finally blowing the tower
over. This immediately cut off 6 million ITV
viewers and reduced BBC to black and
By 3am an emergency tower was on its
way from Lichfield. It was quickly erected
and partial service was resumed, however
as it was only 200 feet high much of
Yorkshire was only able to receive black
and white pictures. A taller mast was
One was found in a Swedish Air Force
warehouse, the base and other important
parts were flown to Manchester Airport.
The rest of the kit was despatched by sea
to the port of Hull. When all of the parts
arrived on site, the base had already been
readied and a Leeds based crew of Polish
fitters set to work erecting the 700 foot
tower in a world record time of 27 days.
The solution was the construction of
the iconic Grade II listed Emley Moor
transmitting station, with its 1,084 feet tall
concrete tower; weighing 14,000 tonnes.
Officially named Arqiva Tower, it is the
tallest free standing structure in the
United Kingdom, fourth tallest tower in the
European Union and 24th tallest tower
in the world. It is the same height as the
Blackpool Tower and stands taller than
Today it receives signals from most of
the terrestrial TV stations plus almost all
signals from Europe and boosts them on
to hundreds of smaller transmitters.
It also routes mobile phone 4G
transmissions and lends its height
to smaller transmitters which send
instructions to utility resources such as
sluice gates at reservoirs.
Wider coverage established, but still no
Work started on the construction
of the current Emley mast in 1969
and transmissions commenced on
Emley Moor Colliery closed after
the year long miner’s strike.
The site is now a business park.
A.F.C Emley reached the third
round of the FA Cup. They lost
2-1 against West Ham United at
The admission cost for the
Emley Show was 25p.
Emley reached the final of the FA
Vase and took 10,000 supporters
to Wembley. Unfortunately they
lost 1-0 on the day against
That was then...
From horse drawn ploughs to
high powered combine harvesters
costing £100,000, glass plate
photography to the digital age,
Emley has seen many social and
...This is now
Times change and technology
advances, but The Emley Show
remains one of the best attended
and well respected agricultural
days out in Yorkshire.
124 years, 100 shows, thousands of
memories and many tales to tell.
Photos donated by Mr Eddy Hudson
Did you know?
Less than 15 mins walk North East of the
village centre is a lane called ‘Leisure
Lane,’ but all is not as it seems. During the
13th Century, there was a monk’s hospice
or infirmary for the poor and lepers of
Emley, which was situated to the bottom
of Leisure (Lezzes) Lane. The Hospice was
known as ‘Lezzes’ or ‘Lazar’s’ taking its
name from Lazarus who was brought back
from the dead by Jesus, hence the name
Way back in 1217, the then Lord of the
Manor, Sir William Fitzwilliam (the first
lord of the manor to adopt the name
Fitzwilliam) granted the first mining licence
to the monks of Byland Abbey. Iron ore
had been discovered around Bentley
Grange which prompted the monks to
apply for the licence. Iron ore needs to
be smelted in a forge that in turn needed
coal. The license was further endorsed by
his son Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam in 1237.
‘Cole mynes’ at Emley Woodhouse were
operating from around 1597 and possibly
from shallow shafts on Emley Moor in the
17th century. The Jagger family were the
owners of Emley Moor Colliery in 1821
when winding was done by a horse gin.
Mining remained a source of employment
until 1985 when Emley Moor Colliery
closed after the year-long miners’ strike.
You can walk the 3 mile Emley Trail that
will take you past many of these ancient
That is just a couple of examples of the
hidden history of Emley and surrounding
areas that stretch back almost 1000 years.
A rich history that this Show is just a small
124 years and 100 Emley Shows
Over 124 years ago somebody had an
idea. We don’t know who it was or exactly
when it was. We can’t describe it as a
vision or an epiphany but it certainly was
a great idea. It may have gone along the
lines of a conversation in a pub or leaning
on a fence at a market, possibly across a
dry-stone wall. Nobody knows and to be
honest it’s probably better that we don’t,
what is for certain is that 124 years later
we have the modern incarnation of the
Show that we are all enjoying here today
We hope you have enjoyed reading this
potted history of 100 Emley Shows. The
one thing that has been common across
all of the Shows is the need for Volunteers
to take on the dozens of roles that make
a great day like today run seamlessly.
As our members become older, we as a
committee realise that the future of the
Show and its 100 plus years of history
rests firmly in the hands of the young. That
is why we are on the hunt for the next
generation of trustees to carry forward this
Remember, next year’s Show starts today
and we would love you to be part of it!
If you would like to find out more about
volunteering then please call me on
07736 677700 or email me at
Many thanks for your support at the 100th
English Heritage granted the
Emley tower a Grade II listed
building status for its ‘significant
architectural or historic interest.’
The organisers of the Show
made the decision to cancel the
poultry and egg section after an
avian flu scare.
Saturday 5th August
The 100th Emley Show
A Champion Day Out!
Lord Savile, a Patron of the Show
sadly passed away, aged 89 and
the Show moved to it’s wonderful
new site, at Factory Farm.
The costs associated with the
Emley Show reached almost
Call Tom today on - 07805603608
If you have any photographs, interesting
facts or stories related to the Emley Show
that you would like to share with us please
email us on: email@example.com
Designed & produced by
Emley Show Society is registered as a Charity. No: 1013141 and as a Company, limited by guarantee in England - No: 2731384. Registered Office: 14 High Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2HA