The show, it was noted, was held in building adjoining the railway station and the prizes were open for competition only to persons who had bought their seeds at the Ulster Seed Stores in Dungannon, Cookstown, Armagh and Aughnacloy.
The “active and enterprising” manager, Mr Matthews, it was reported had taken “every possible pains” to ensure a good show and competition “For the best collection of every description of farm produce” the prize on offer at the show in Dungannon was a plough worth £5 5s which had been made by Gray and Co.
For the three largest and best Swedish turnips (“there being not less than twelve competitors”, the first prize was £2 and second prize was £1. ‘
For the largest and best (“three each”) long red and yellow globe mangel wurtzel (“there being not less than ten worthy competitors”), the first prize was worth £2 and the second prize £1.
It was noted by the News Letter that the judges at the show were Mr Thomas Henry Harpur, Esq, Gorestown, Moy; Mr Thomas Aird, Rosborough,Charlemont; Mr James Kennedy Graham, Ardtrea and Mr John Matthews, Parkmount, Belfast.
The following were the principal exhibitors and competitors: “Specimens of flax scutched oats (six feet four inches in length), wheat, barley, beans in different variety, potatoes, cabbage, butter, parsnips, carrots, turnips, mangel wurtzel” - Mr John Skelton of Killyman. Mr Skelton was also awarded the prize plough which was worth £5 5s.
“Specimens of flax in all stages of manufacture, barley in ear and in seed, cabbage of different binds, mangel wurtzel, carrots, parsnips kaol rabbi, beans of different kinds, turnips, potatoes of different lands, oats, wheat, & c” - Mr John Miller of Lameny near Dungannon. Mr Miller’s entry was highly praised by the judges who stated that there was very little difference between Mr Miller’s entry and that of Mr Skelton’s entry.
“Specimens of potatoes, butter, oats, wheat rye, flax, cabbage, beans, carrots, mangel wurtzel, turnips, scallions” - Mr Carson of Stewartstown who was “strongly recommended” by the judges.
“Potatoes, butter, cheese, oats of different kinds, wheat, flax, turnips, mangel wurtzel, cabbage, beans, carrots, and parsnips” was awarded to Mr McAlister.
Among the other competitors were Mr James Miller, who took the first prize for turnips - £2; and the first prize for mangel wurtzel - £2. R S Nicholson, Esq, Lisdhu, who took the second prize for turnips - £1. Mr McAlister who took the second for mangel wurtzel. John Y Burgess, Esq, JP and DL, Parkanaur Castle, who exhibited excellent potatoes, turnips, and mangel wurtzel. Robert Evans, Esq, JP; who exhibited “very good fuchsias”. Samuel Phillips, Esq, MD, Ballygawley, who exhibited turnips and mangel wurtzel was highly recommended by the judges. Captain Knox, Desert Creight for Swedish turnips. Mr Carson, Shankey, Stewartstown - turnips and mangel wurtzel. Mr John Thompson, Drummond - turnips and mangel wurtzel. George Slevin, Esq, Dungannon - turnips and mangel wurtzel. William Lowry, Esq, Drumreagh, who exhibited “excellent specimens of potatoes, turnips and mangel wurtzel”. Meanwhile, Mrs Captain Stuart from Dungannon exhibited “some excellent mangel wurtzel, potatoes, turnips and cabbage”. Indeed one cabbage in this collection weighed 30lbs. Another exhibitor at the show in Dungannon was Mr George Sloan, Esq, Anneslev Lodge, Coalisland who showed turnips and mangel wurtzel. James Horan, Esq, Clover Hill, Moy exhibited turnips and mangel wurtzel.
The show, it was reported, was visited by all the local gentry “and several from a distance”. The decorations were very good. One motto in front of the show room had read: “Agriculture is the basis of our prosperity” which had been worked in dahlias on a blue ground which was much admired.
When the winner of the prize plough was announced nearly 200 men and boysfrom the neighbourhood of the Skelton’s in Killyman formed in a body. Some of them raised the plough upon their shoulders and carried it off to his residence. Amid the cheers and “vociferous congratulations” of the rest. The judges expressed their regret that their were no prizes given for potatoes as the samples exhibited had been among “the very best ever offered” at any public show at which they had been present. After the show several of the exhibitors and other friends sat down to an excellent supper in Mr Moore’s hotel.
Meanwhile the News Letter also noted that a further agricultural produce show at had been held in Dungannon by Mr John Stevenson’s which attracted many visitors. Mr Stevenson offered a number of “very liberal prizes” to those of his customers.
The prizes on offer by Mr Stevenson included: 1) For the twelve best mangel wurtzel roots, £1. 2) For the twelve best Swede turnips, £1. 3) For the three best Aberdeen turnips, £1. 4) For the best rood of Swede turnips grow on Phospho-Peruvian guano, £1. 5) For the best rood of Swede turnips grown on Francis Ritchie & Sons’ manure, £1.
The following gentlemen exhibited specimens of agricultural produce at Mr Stevenson’s show: Mr John Frizell - Mangel wurtzel; the prize. William Lowry, Esq, Drumreagh – Mangel wurtzel, Swede and Aberdeen turnips; the prize for Aberdeens. James Murphy, Dungannon - Mangel wurtzel, Swede, and Aberdeen tumips; the prize for Swedes and the prize for the best rood of turnips on Phospho-Peruvian guano. Mr William Hanna, Bernagh - The prize for the best rood of turnips grown on bone manure. Robert Evans, Esq, JP, exhibited turnips and mangel wurtzel, as did also the following gentlemen: George Dickson, Courtenay Newton, Esq, the Reverend F H Ringwood, Mr James Jeffreys, Annahao, who exhibited some excellent roots of mangel wurtzel which were much commended; and James Crossle, Esq, Annahoe House, who exhibited “some superior specimens of turnips”; Mrs Hunter, Killyman and A L Nicholson, Esq, Lisdhun House.
Mr George Pinkerton of Lislap, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone, and his son Kenneth stacking corn in October 1965
The News Letter commented: “Great credit is due to the above gentlemen for their attempt, and a successful one it has been, to bring to Dungannon and its neighbourhood that generous rivalry among farmers as to the superiority if their crops which has lain dormant to a great extent since the agricultural shows ceased to be held in the town, now several years ago; and the success of the present generous offspring of private enterprise will, it is hoped, lead to a regular and permanent agricultural show in this district.”