Arthington Show-Amateur dramatics, Lost

c. 1925 Society Members


1906 saw Sir E. A. Brotherton. Bart. LLD, as the first President elected to the Arthington, Bramhope and Pool Horticultural Society. The majority of the meetings were held at The Wharfedale Hotel, Arthington. In those early days the Show had a permanent site on the east side of the railway line near Arthington Station. In 1923 it was decided to admit other “Townships” in the area to be known as Arthington, Bramhope, Pool & District Horticultural & Agricultural Society.

The minute book shows that on July 28th 1921 at the meeting held at the Fox and Hounds Hotel, Bramhope in the presence of Messrs Hixon, Johnson, Pullein, Kaye, Miller, Dobson, Bingham, Robinson and Cryer under the Chairmanship of John R. Musgrave, the following recommendation and adoption was made:

Recommendation from this meeting that the Show have a permanent ground near to Arthington Station and that the area be extended to include the Townships of: Carlton, Adel-cum-Alwoodley, Bramhope, Arthington, Pool, Farnley, Leathley, Castley and Stainburn

On the 20th September, 1923 at a meeting held at the Wharfedale Hotel it was agreed the Society be made up of:

Leathley, Farnley, Lindley and Stainburn, comprise- Section 1.

Huby, Weeton, Dunkeswick and Castley – Section 2.

Harewood – Section 3.

Adel-cum-Eccup, Cookridge and Carlton – Section 4.

Arthington, Bramhope and Pool (presumabley Section 5).

The Show later moved around and was for quite a number of years held in Pool-in-Wharfedale, on land owned by the Snowdon family from Plainville/ Park House, until the building of the Parklands housing estate in the 1960’s. For a short time it was held in an adjacent field but was again moved, this time to allow the building of Swallow Drive. For the next several years the Show took place in a field along side Arthington Lane, near to The Tower, after which it moved to Bingham’s Farm, Carlton Cross Roads at the top of Pool Bank. In 2006 it returned to Pool to be held on Rotherford field, the Castley side of the river.

As well as agricultural classes and horticultural and farm produce classes there were various sports competitions which included Ham Slashing Competition, Dry Land Boat Race, Bun Snatching Competition, and Thread the Needle Race for Ladies, “ladies to find own Gentlemen partners”

1926 saw Major F.H. Fawkes as President and in 1931 The Earl of Harewood agreed to be President for the 21st Show that year. No Show was held for several years during both world wars neither was it held in the year 2001 because of Foot & Mouth disease.

Celebrations commemorating the one hundred years since its beginning were held in 2006. On this occasion, due to its success and the need for larger accommodation, the Arthington Show moved to Castley Lane, onto both Nigel Launder and Michael Greenwood’s fields. The 100th show celebrations were held in 2017.

Great Yorkshire Show began in 1838. Otley holds the oldest Agricultural show in England, founded in 1799.


The Nightjars formed by a small group of Pool villagers performing in the 1920’s & 30’s in various halls

Pool Amateur Dramatic Society performed “Murder Party” on 26th & 28 Feb 1938 held in the Schoolroom P-in-W, produced by Mr. F. Mason. Past productions had been “Man from Toronto”, Mrs. Gorringe’s Necklace, A Lady calls on Peter, The Ghost Train, Tons of Money, Such Things Happen”. (old programme of David Whiteley)

Restoration Romp

THE COUNTRY PLAYERS was formed in 1947 performing in the Methodist Schoolroom. Their first production here was Margaret and George in 1948. Profits were given to the Village Memorial Hall Fund and to other charities. The Country Players transferred their productions to the Village Hall on its completion in 1958 continuing to produce three plays every winter, entering and being successful in various drama festivals. The names of some of the productions were: The Holly and the Ivy, Blithe Spirit, Sailor Beware, (Otley Little Theatre), Wind of Heaven, Mayor of Torental, The Chiltern Hundreds, Feminine Touch, The Younger End, Low Bridge – a one act play, Mr. Tremlow, Man in a Bowler Hat, The Noble Spaniard.

Other highlights were the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Society in 1972 and numerous social events including a Restoration Romp. The Players also had several madcap holidays abroad, including a four day trip to Holland and two week-ends in Majorca. The membership dwindled to about ten active members in 1976 and was disbanded in 1980 (1983 – David Whiteley) due to lack of support and the cost of productions. When it was disbanded the money in hand was divided into two and donated to Bramhope Children’s Home, and St. Georges Home for the Disabled in Harrogate, £200.00 to each.

The Overdale Players used the Hall for many years with many successful productions. The Players won a cup in the Wharfedale Drama Festival in April 196l winning the West Riding area final.

Plays took place in Old Pool Bank Village Hall, “In 1982 the Old Pool Bank Players were formed when the stage lighting was brought up to date. They performed various plays, a review of the Thirtieth Anniversary and pantomimes. The children for the group also performed independently in Snow White, The tinder Box and Scrooge. The Group have also entered a float in the Otley Carnival for the past nine years and each year been amongst the prize winners. Carol Concerts with plays and been held and the proceeds given to charity.” (taken from40th Anniversary in 1992 copy in Archives.


1972 Shops consisted of ; l butchers (Middlemass) Church View, now a cottage;

1 newsagents; (North View Stores) also selling petrol (Petrol pump built in 1910 – then Pratts petrol, later National Benzole) – closed 2001, now 2 cottages;

1 fish and chip shop now converted into a house 2005 ;

1 Bank (Midland, limited opening hours) Main St. now cottage;

l haberdashery shop (Mrs. Wood), Church View, later an antiques shop, now a cottage ;

3 General grocery and sweet shops a. Mrs. Mitchells, Bar House, Arthington Lane now cottage, b. “Middle Shop” now pharmacist & c. 1950 Ridealgh’s, St. Wilfrid’s Terrace (later became hairdressers), now cottage.

Metal Workers (“Metal Mickey”) at Kayes woodyard, Arthington Lane. now houses, The Beeches.

2 Garages. 1. now car sales room, Main St. 2. stood outside North View Stores, Main St.

1 Drs. Surgery. Held in Church Room, Mill Lane now house;

Chapel of Rest 12.9.1975-1986? Held in Kayes Woodyard, demolished, now The Beaches estate.

“Fatticake Row”. Demolished now Wharfedale Court sheltered housing;

Tankards electrical shop on Church View now cottage ;

Kays Woodyard, Arthington Lane, demolished now The Beeches homes;

Pool School on Main Street, now burned down in 2001.now detached house.

Coal merchant (Midgley),sold.

Guides, Brownies, Cubs. Country Players –all no longer active;

Plainville/Park House/Pool Court Restaurant/Monkmans’ Bistro.2002;(demolished now The Hollies estate);

Cricket Ground at Weidmann Whiteley – 2003 now junior football pitch (2017)

Pool-in-Wharfedale railway station (1965) now Willow Court housing estate

Police house c. 2000 now a private house.

Caley Hall – Demolished 1964