Mo­tor­car al­most stopped shows

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The Mata­mata A&P As­so­ci­a­tion held its first pub­lic show meet­ing on De­cem­ber 17, 1910. The first Mata­mata A&P Show was held three months later at the Mata­mata Sa­le­yards on March 30, 1911.

On March 23, 1928, the Mata­mata A&P As­so­ci­a­tion held an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing to con­sider whether the as­so­ci­a­tion should be wound up, due to lack of in­ter­est.

The Mata­mata Record re­ported at the time: ‘‘ The two main causes of the present sit­u­a­tion were thought to be the pass­ing of peo­ple’s in­ter­est from horses to mo­tor cars and the fact that dairy farm­ers are now breed­ing solely for pro­duc­tion and not for show pur­poses.’’

There was a call for farm­ers and busi­ness peo­ple to be­come more in­vested in the show and for a wider range of en­ter­tain­ment to at­tract the crowds.

The show was held on a Satur­day ev­ery Fe­bru­ary or March un­til the 31st show on March 1, 1941. There were no shows from 1942-44 be­cause of World War II.

The Mata­mata Record re­ported on a record show held on March 2, 1935, with 146 stock en­tered and mas­sive crowds.

‘‘This year, no doubt due to the fact that the herds are milk­ing lighter ow­ing to the drought, the peo­ple rolled up ear­lier than usual and by lunch time there was a record at­ten­dance.’’ Sec­tions that year in­cluded cat­tle, horses, sheep, pigs and dogs, as well as fruit, veg­eta­bles, flow­ers, needle­work, cook­ery and honey. There was also a school sec­tion, which in­cluded con­tests in writ­ing, draw­ing, maps and ‘‘school hand­i­work’’.

A ju­bilee show was held in 1936 to cel­e­brate 25 years and a Vic­tory Show March was held in 1946.

The show was can­celled in 1948 be­cause of a po­lio epi­demic and 1962 be­cause of ‘‘cy­clonic weather con­di­tions’’.

Dor­reen White and her hus­band were farm­ing in Te Poi in the 1960s and Dor­reen en­tered the cook­ing sec­tion each year.

‘‘We had four boys at pri­mary school and I was al­ways rush­ing. The en­tries had to be in at a cer­tain time, so we’d milk the cows in the morn­ing, I’d rush home, change, pack up my en­tries, bring them into Mata­mata, tear

Crowd pleaser: Earl John­ston rid­ing Hoki at the 1924 Mata­mata A&P Show.

Pho­tos: SUP­PLIED

In­au­gu­ral: The front page of the first ever Mata­mata A&P Show pro­gramme.

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