This year sees one hundred years of Guernsey’s West Show and the illustrations on new Guernsey Post’s commemorative stamps capture the spirit of this two-day event, which is a highlight of the summer.Back in 1913, life was very different on the island and farming was a major industry – especially in the western parishes. Farmhouses were geared around their small holdings with sides of pork hanging from the ceiling smoked by the open fires, livestock occupying one end of the long-house and furze ovens for cooking. Land was given over to growing produce or rearing animals and most country folk were self-sufficient in milk, butter, home-cured meats and vegetables.
The turn of the century also saw the introduction of greenhouses, raising horticulture up with agriculture in our heritage. The islander, it seems, was born to grow things – whether grapes and tomatoes or cows and goats – and The West United Agricultural and Horticultural Society was formed to promote and encourage their agricultural and horticultural interests. At the centre of this was to be an annual show so all this talent and progress could be showcased and shared. Despite wars, downpours, droughts and livestock outbreaks, it has continued to go from strength-to-strength.
The stamps feature:
40p – Tractor and Hay Kicker 53p – Prizewinning Produce 55p – Brewery Dray and Shire Horses 63p –Guernsey Cows 71p – Steam Tractor Engine 79p – Haymaking in Traditional Dress