DOWN MEMORY LANE, August 28 2020

Donald Armour, Kilkeddan, receives the Tom Douglas Cup from the Duke of Argyll for the 1959 champion Ayrshire.
Donald Armour, Kilkeddan, receives the Tom Douglas Cup from the Duke of Argyll for the 1959 champion Ayrshire.

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With this year’s Kintyre Agricultural Society show cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, secretary John Armour looks back on some of the highlights of the show since its inception in 1854.

As mentioned previously, the society had to move from Kintyre Park when the then new Campbeltown Grammar School started to be built in 1967 but this was obviously in directors’ minds long before it became a reality.

In April 1951 a committee was formed to look at Anderston but nothing came of it. In May 1959 it was reported that Kintyre Park may be required for a major building project and it was reported to a meeting in February 1960 that ‘there was no hope of having the show in Kintyre park beyond 1961’.

A committee was formed to look at Anderston again. It reported that the field was suitable for holding the show and for car parking. In March 1961, President John Barbour, Machribeg, said that Miss Andrew, the owner of Anderston Park, was willing to sell and that the society would get the first opportunity to buy it.

Directors agreed unanimously to put the proposal to an extraordinary general meeting of members. On a proposal from Colonel Hamish Taylor, seconded by David McKerral, it was unanimously agreed to go ahead with purchasing the field.

The meeting also proposed to negotiate the neighbouring strips of land at Whinhill from Argyll Estates.

On May 19 1961 the president announced to directors that the society had become owners of the fields on May 15. The new school however took a little longer than planned to be built and the show continued in Kintyre Park for another five years.

The 100th show was held on Friday June 4 1965. The Courier report of the show said: ‘It was an unqualified success. The quality of all sections of livestock was exceptional and spoke eloquently about the progress in both breeding and showing since the first show in 1855.

‘Kintyre Park as usual provided a splendid setting for the event and it was a pity the weather did not match the enthusiasm of the exhibitors and organisers. It was dull and cloudy most of the day and this undoubtedly prevented there being a bumper gate.

‘The attendance was still good and there had never been such an array of stands, 31 in all. The parade was one of the finest ever seen.’

The champion Ayrshire went to Donald Armour, Kilkeddan, the Clydesdale championship was won by David Smith, Airdaluinn, the beef championship went to J & A Reid, Calliburn, and the Blackface champion went to John Warnock, Killacraw.

The photos of Donald Armour, Kilkeddan, receiving the Tom Douglas Cup, and the Duke of Argyll presenting long service certificates have been kindly provided by The Scottish Farmer. Copies can be obtained by visiting the following link: