The First Show

There is a long history behind the Camden Show and 2011 promises to be our biggest and best ever as we celebrate our 125th Anniversary, with the motto “Still a Country Show” which was introduced in 1986.

The first Camden Show was held on Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th and Friday 19th March 1886.

The First President & Committee


Mr J.K. Chisholm became the first Show President serving till 1908. The 184 show members voted to form the first committee of 25 people, which started the preparations for the show.


The Grounds


In 1886 the ground had to be prepared with the building of the AH & I Hall to house exhibits, and a structure to house a Publicans Booth. Permanent milking bails and a fodder room were erected in 1902. 


Also in 1902 the Camden Cycle Club asked for permission to build a cycle track around the showground oval.


Official Opening


The Camden Show was officially opened in 1903 by His Excellency, Sir Harry Rawson, Governor of NSW.


The First Schedule


The show schedule consisted of dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs, poultry, grain and root, vegetables, jams, needlework and flowers. Machinery began to show its influence in the dairying industry by including classes for an ice making machine, a separator and a churn for dairy purposes. In the same section classes were provided for a wagon, spring cart and a tip dray made within the electorate. Saddlery added a collection of whips, and a section for wines appeared.


The Effects of War


Many changes were brought about in 1915 due to the outbreak of World War I. The President A.J Onslow-Thompson joined the Australian Forces and was killed at Gallipolli. Furthermore, many committee men also went to war, leaving a determined few, who dealt with the impossible and made sure the 1915 show went ahead as usual.

The 1940 show was overshadowed by the outbreak of World War II. The Hall was used for V.A.D. Detachment for drill training and for R.A.A.F. and Army personnel. The Camden Show Committee was reformed in 1945, to continue with the Society’s functions as they had before the war.




During the early 1900′s you were able to catch the train to Camden Show. Special trains ran from and returned to Campbelltown up untill the outbreak of World War II. Not long after, the train to Camden was discontinued.




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