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March 27, 2023

Murwillumbah Show takes centre stage at new exhibition

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The Show in 1900, when it was known as the Tweed Brunswick and Border Pastoral Agricultural Show. Photo Tweed Regional Museum

Tweed Shire’s long running agricultural show is the subject of Tweed Regional Museum’s latest exhibition: Chutney, Chooks and Champions.

Kicking off in 1898 and still going strong 120 years later, the Murwillumbah Show has provided an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the best of local agriculture and produce, Museum Director Judy Kean says.

And while the show has been a showcase for talent of all kinds it has also been an occasion for socialising and having fun.

Chutney, Chooks and Champions: Stories from the Show celebrates the people, produce, and animals – and the making and baking – which are the heart and soul of every show,’ Ms Kean said.

‘We haven’t forgotten side show alley, or the tradition of “frocking up” and the exhibition features some great footage from the 1950s and ’60s heyday of heading off to the show in a brand new outfit with money to spend.

‘As well as certificates and ribbons dating from 1907 and many stories of triumph and tragedy, we are particularly excited to have commissioned a short film and a number of video interviews especially for the exhibition,’ she said.

Suellen Baker’s short film Show People features some spectacular drone footage of the showground and surrounding country, and is a wonderfully quirky and heart-warming story of some dedicated locals.

Commissioned videos feature legendary dairy farmer, Jersey breeder and exhibitor, Pat McDonald along with international poultry judge and Tweed local Grame Hopf, as well as a follow-up interview with Alistair Ault,  the subject of a 1969 doco Junior Stud Master.

Exhibition curator Erika Taylor said the amazing story of Alice Haigh is typical of the skills, passion and competitive instincts which many exhibitors bring to the show.

‘Alice entered an astonishing range of pickles, preserves, jams, cakes and other produce in the show almost every year from 1916 until 1963, two years before her death, all of which was grown in her own garden and made on the family farm,’ Ms Taylor said.

‘The exhibition is not just about past shows; we’re working with members of the Tweed River Agricultural Society on the exhibition and are delighted they’ve agreed to add a new category to the Pavilion entries this year.’

A new fermentation category, sponsored by the Tweed Regional Museum, will include sections for sauerkraut, kombucha and kim chi.

Hopefully those already fermenting will enter – but for those who haven’t yet caught the bug, the Museum will be running a series of ‘how to’ workshops in the lead up to the 2018 Show.

Chutney, Chooks and Champions: Stories from the Show opens to the public on Tuesday, May 8

For details of workshops and other events offered as part of the exhibition, visit the Museum’s website.


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