The local village show was started back in 1954 by a group of local gardening enthusiasts, who decided to hold an annual horticultural show in the village school. The initial idea for holding a show was to raise money to help with cost of supplying mains water to the recently built council houses at Glanhafod. In 1954 most households had a vegetable and flower garden so there was intense interest in the competitions with 53 vegetable classes, 11 flower, 5 agriculture and 10 domestic science classes. There were cash prizes in all classes and only one silver cup given for the best collection of 6 kinds of vegetables. The first President was the well known County MP at the time Desmond Donnelly.
During the early years from 1954 to 1965 the show was timed to suit normal Saturday bus services which were running through Hayscastle six days a week back then. For three years 1955,’56,’57 there was a competition for the Best Kept Garden in the Hayscastle Parish. I wonder is this something that can be done again in the future, any ideas ? In 1956 the first exemption dog show was held with 8 classes and is still a big part of our show today with now 18 classes. 1967 saw the introduction of 4 children’s pony classes and these were judged in the school playing fields. One of the first winners in the pony classes was a young Heather Vaughan from Camrose who along with her family, has been a faithful supporter of the show up to the present day.
During the fifty plus years of Hayscastle show there have been 6 chairmen keeping control, only 3 treasurers looking after finances and 12 secretaries organising meetings, judges, competitors etc., Refreshments have been supplied from the very first show being served in the old school canteen (aelwyd) up to the present day where a group of hard working ladies serve up refreshments in their own section of the marquee. This is where locals gather annually for a pleasant sit down with a refreshing tea and cakes to have a jolly good chinwag.
We praise ourselves at Hayscastle show for being a breeding ground for young competitors, be it in cooking, gardening or equestrian events to start off their showing careers at a small village show before gaining experience and confidence to go on to County shows and bigger events. We encourage all ages to have a go at our show.
We are also proud that the show committee have supplied three County show presidents at Haverfordwest namely George Davies, John Evans and Len Thomas; two other committee members have won one of the big awards at the County show, the Idris Davies memorial award, these being the late Merfyn Harries and Meyrick Brown.
The committee feel the show to be a very important event in the summer showing calendar and we praise ourselves as being the friendly show.
We thank all our local patrons and sponsors for their continued support over the years and hope to see all the village out enjoying themselves at this year’s show.
In 1969 a separate committee was formed to organise the pony classes that were going to increase in the years to come. This committee consisted of local pony breeders and enthusiasts similar to the gardening enthusiasts that started back in 1954. As the pony classes increased and the introduction of jumping classes in 1970, the show had to split with the horticulture show still being held at the school whilst the pony show was kindly given the use of a field by the late W G Davies of Coedffynnon which was up the narrow lane opposite the farm. The show stayed at Coedffynnon field until 1989 and then moved for a few years to the middle of the village at Hayscastle Cross until further developments were carried out when it moved in 1999 to its present site at Plaindealings Fields by kind permission of the Davies family.
For the 25th Silver Jubilee the complete show came together and was held at Coedffynnon field with the horticulture sections being housed in a Marquee which is still the same format today. It was a special honour to have as President for this 25th show Mr William Harries, Gwynfa one of the founder members back in 1954. Over the years many local faces have shone and smiled at being show presidents for the day, such as MP’s, local councillors. farmers, teachers , doctors and shopkeepers and many local individuals who have supported the show for years. During the 1980’s and 1990’s classes for goats, sheep and calves were held.
Sadly most of the first horticulture and pony committees are no longer with us but the present committee endeavour to continue in their footsteps and keep Hayscastle show one of the leading village shows in our county.