5 photos of Somerset you may never have seen

Officials Office at the Royal Bath & West Show in Taunton (1895)

1895 - Officials Office at the Royal Bath & West Show in Taunton - Credit: Royal Bath & West of England Society

A special exhibition will include a look at the history of the Bath and West Show this month. So South West Heritage Trust has dug out some photos of the event, with some stretching back many years

Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury has teamed up with the Royal Bath and West of England Society to open the ‘living exhibition’ until September.

There will be a vibrant programme of family events and activities that capture the spirit of the Royal Bath and West Show, as well as an opportunity to discover more about the Society’s wide-ranging history.

To mark the occasion South West Heritage Trust has dug out these photos, some of which many people may never have seen before as they are dated from several decades ago.

Morris Dancers on the Main Lawn (2019)

Morris Dancers on the Main Lawn (2019) - Credit: Peter Hall

Prize Bull in the Main Ring (2019)

2019 - Prize Bull in the Main Ring - Credit: Peter Hall


1965 -  Writing the land agreement for the Shepton Mallet Showground 

1965 - Writing the land agreement for the Shepton Mallet Showground - Credit: Royal Bath & West of England Society

 muddy Royal Bath & West Show in Shepton Mallet (1979)

A muddy Royal Bath & West Show in Shepton Mallet (1979) - Credit: Royal Bath & West of England Society

Officials Office at the Royal Bath & West Show in Taunton (1895)

1895 - Officials Office at the Royal Bath & West Show in Taunton - Credit: Royal Bath & West of England Society

The Royal Bath and West of England Society was founded in 1777 and held its first flagship show in Taunton in 1852. The show set up its home near Shepton Mallet in 1965 and in 1976 the ‘Royal’ title was granted. Prior to this it was a touring show travelling the whole country.

The Society has a long history of contributions to agricultural science and development, often with a strong emphasis on the vital roles that women play in the industry. In recent times it has worked with communities to overcome challenges including foot and mouth disease and flooding.

Covid-19 has seen the Society rise to meet further challenges and this year the usual show is replaced by the Bath & West Country Festival. 

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The Bath & West: A Celebration living exhibition takes place at Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury, until September 4.