ABOUT THE SHOWGROUND
The Albury Showground has been a part of the Albury community since 1857. It's had various owners and managers over the years, and is now proudly managed by the Albury Land Managers Trust who offer venues for community events, sporting facilities, camping grounds and campsites to travellers from around the world.
Albury Show Society was established in 1857 principally as a result of the efforts of Robert Brown who is generally considered to be the first permanent settler in Albury. Initially the Show Society was known as the Albury and Murray River Agricultural and Horticultural Society, before long however the ‘Murray River’ was dropped from the title. In the early days, when the Show was held once a year, sometimes twice, it was held at a number of different locations. As the need for some structural facilities such as stock yards became obvious, the Show Society acquired some acres of land on the east side of Young Street between Guinea Street and Perry Street.
The Show Society erected some suitable improvements and the show was held on the site for a number of decades and proved to be successful. However, the small site limited growth and members of the Society discovered another area of vacant land with the advantage of greater size. It was located between Fallon and North Streets and was owned by a builder, Bill Stewart, who lived in the nearby Smith Street.
The Society was able to purchase Mr Stewart`s land in 1942 and began the process of setting it up as the Albury Showground. They had made limited progress when World War II broke out and parts of the Showground were occupied by the military.
In 1944 the Presbyterian Church, in looking for a site for a grammar school, made a suitable offer for part of the Young Street showground site, followed a little later by second offer for most of the remainder, the Show Society accepted. The church began setting up the beginning of Albury Grammar School, now known as Scots School. The Show Society completed, over a number of years, the acquisition of the current Showground site.
The Bellbridge Memorial Gates, first erected in 1935 at the Young Street site in memory of Frederick John Bellbridge who had been a member of the Society for 27 years and president six times, were relocated to the Mate Street entrance to the Showground and are still in place today.
The Showground continued in the ownership of the Show Society for several decades, however after much consideration and discussion in the 1970’s, the Society decided to hand ownership of the Showground over to the NSW government. Management of the Showground was transferred to the NSW Lands Department.
Initially, the Lands Department formed a Management Trust, made up of local people, to oversee the maintenance and use of the Showground. In recent times the government changed the name to Albury Showground Land Manager Board to which local people are appointed by Crown Lands to manage the property on behalf of the Government.