The Royal Highland Show's  new permanent site at Ingliston in July 1959 with the Ellect Ross Tractor stand in the foreground.
The Royal Highland Show's new permanent site at Ingliston in July 1959 with the Ellect Ross Tractor stand in the foreground.

Royal Highland Show: 22 fascinating pictures of Scotland's largest agricutural show in the 1950s and 1960s

Held annually in June at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, the Royal Highland Show is organised by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and is celebrating its 200th birthday this year.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:38 pm

With over 1,000 exhibitors, 6,000 animals, and up to 190,000 visitors, it is by far the largest event of its type in Scotland, generating over £200 million in business and offering prize money of over £1 million.

The first Royal Highland Show was held in 1822 at Edinburgh's Canongate, where the Scottish Parliament now stands, and moved to different locations in Scotland each year.

The Ingliston site became the permanent home of the show in 1960 and it has been held there ever since – originally running from Sunday-Wednesday and later from Thursday-Sunday,

The ‘royal’ title was bestowed upon it by King George VI at the 1948 show held in Inverness.

A range of livestock is exhibited at the show each year, including sheep, cattle, goats, horses, ponies, donkeys, and poultry.

Prizes are awarded to the best animals, with the most prestigious livestock honour, the Queen's Cup, rotating between the champions of the various types of livestock – in 2022 it will be awarded to the best sheep.

Being a showcase for all things rural and agricultural, the show includes large exhibits of agricultural machinery and supplies, equine supplies and outdoor sporting goods, while a wide range of associations set up stalls to promote their interests.

Meanwhile, the exhibition halls include shopping arena and a food and drink arena which are both dominated by Scottish producers.

Other attractions include music being played at the two show bandstands, and competitions and events such as sheep shearing, show jumping, driving, tug-of-war, dog obedience trials, forestry, falconry, farriery and other rural pursuits.

Here’s what was going on at the show over 50 years ago.

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