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Timeline

  1. 1831

    The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia is formed.

  2. 1834

    The Society held the first Annual Fair and Cattle Show in Guildford.

    1834
  3. 1835

    The colony’s head of stock was counted at: 84 horses, 78 mares, 307 cows, 96 working cattle, 97 bulls and steers, 3,545 sheep, 492 goats and 374 pigs.

    1835
  4. 1837

    WA Population: 2,025
    Sheep Population: 10,815

    1837
  1. 1840

    Agricultural regions emerged outside the Swan Valley in the Avon Valley and the Swan Coastal Plain.

    1840
  2. 1844 – 1904

    Annual Show held at Woodbridge, Guildford

    1844
  3. 1847

    WA Population: 4,717
    Sheep Population: 114,124

  1. 1851

    Introduction of pastoral leases in WA.

    1851
  1. 1864

    Sheep Population: 283,828
    Cattle Population: 44,569

  1. 1870

    Severe depression overshadowed the Colony. As a result, the Society had difficulty in maintaining subscriptions.

    1870
  1. 1883 - 1900

    Almost 40 agricultural societies came into existence in WA.

  1. 1890

    The Society was granted permission to assume the title of “Royal”.

    1890
  1. 1900

  2. 1902

    The Government granted the Royal Agricultural Society a 35 acre site in Claremont.

    1902
  3. 1904

    The last show is held at
    the East Guildford site.

    An aged eucalypt now marks the entrance to the former East Guildford Showgrounds.

  4. 1905

    The Perth Royal Show was held for the first time at the new Claremont site. Sheepdog trials were introduced to the Perth Royal Show.

    1905
  5. 1907

    Claremont Showground hosted West Australian Football League (WAFL) and was used for training by sporting teams of nearby schools Methodist Ladies College and Scotch College.

    The Society became affiliated with the State’s various agricultural societies in a number of country centres.

    A bill passed investing the RAS with the necessary powers to direct affiliation with any other society, formed or unformed, in The State.

  1. 1914 - 1918

    Claremont Showground became an accommodation and training centre for troops of the 10th Light Horse and 16th and 14th Battalions.

    1914
  1. 1920s

    Period of agricultural expansion in WA.

    1927

    Claremont Speedway was established at the Showground.

    1928

    The first radio broadcast from the Perth Royal Show took place in 1928 by local radio station 6WF.

  2. 1929

    The Great Depression brought about difficult times for WA agriculture as prices fell and export markets contracted.

    The Centenary Pavilion was erected. It was one of the largest undercover facilities in Perth.

    1929
  1. 1931

    The Australian Hockey Association moved to Claremont Showground.

    1939 - 1944

    Claremont Showground was used by military personal. The Perth Royal Show was suspended from 1940 to 1944.

  1. 1945

    The RAS coordinated a Victory Show.

    Post-war agricultural development was assisted by advances in technology and new areas of WA were established for farming including the Central Midlands, the south coast east of Albany to Esperance Downs, the Lakes Districts in the Wheatbelt and the Ord and Gascoyne Rivers.

    1945
  1. 1951

    Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships are held at Claremont Showground.

    1951
  1. 1962

    Inaugural Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held at Claremont Showground.

    Other sports played at the grounds included night tennis, basketball, skating, polo, rugby union and soccer.

  2. 1965

    60th anniversary of the opening of Claremont Showground. Perth Royal Show attendance topped the quarter million mark for the first time.

    1965
  3. 1966

    After a 30 year absence, cats were exhibited again at the Show, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs performed and a baby animal nursery was introduced attracting 47,720 people.

    1966
  4. 1967

    The District Display competition was reinstated after an absence of 30 years.

    1967
  5. 1969

    Drought, the introduction of wheat quotas and low commodity prices for livestock contributed to difficult times for the agricultural industry for a number of years.

  1. 1970s

    The RAS move its headquarters from the CBD to Claremont Showground and a chair lift opened to the public at the Show.

    During a Perth Royal Show, a steer escaped form the cattle pens, ran out the front entrance, across the railway line to Bayview Terrace, headed down to the river, jumped in and swam all the way to Point Walter.

  2. 1974

    The Perth Royal Show ran for the first time on a Sunday and for 10 days straight.

    The new Wool Pavilion was opened for the Show featuring a 300 seat theatre. A Miss Showgirl competition was introduced.

    1974
  3. 1977

    The Silver Jubilee
    Pavilion was opened.

  4. 1979

    The 1979 Show was visited by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, President of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.

    Prince Philip officially opened the 1979 Show, and then presided over the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth Conference, which was held in Western Australia for the first time.

    To contribute to the State’s 150th anniversary celebrations, the Show was held for an extended period of 16 days.

  1. 1981

    To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of The RAS, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Perth Royal Show which was held at Claremont Showgrounds in the first week of October for the first time. The Agricultural Art competition commenced.

    1981
  2. 1980s

    Replacement and upgrading of old buildings and facilities.

    1980 - 2000

    Improved herd quality accounted for a doubling of milk output despite a decline in dairy farms.

    Mixed crop and livestock farms declined.

    Wheat yields doubled with WA harvesting 40% of the national crop.

  3. 1984

    The period of the Perth Royal Show was shortened from 10 days to 8 days.

    1985

    A Pet Cat competition was introduced to the Show.

  4. 1986

    The World Shearing Championships were held at the Perth Royal Show. The Model Railway Expo was held at Claremont Showground for the first time.

    A new Rabbit section was introduced at the 1986 Perth Royal Show. Western Australia reached wool clip reached a new record with 231,000 tonnes set, while the WA Sheep population peaked at 38.5 million before declining significantly in the 1990s.

    1986
  1. 1990

    The Showground Equestrian Centre opened.

    1990
  2. 1991

    The Landcare display was introduced to the Perth Royal Show.

    1991
  3. 1992

    A 7,500 square metre exhibition centre was opened at Claremont Showground.

    1993

    The Red Cross Bindaring Clothing Sale commenced at Claremont Showground.

    1992
  4. 1995

    The new Showground Railway Station was constructed allowing commuters direct access to the Showground. The old Pig Pavillion and the Trade Cattle pens were demolished and redeveloped. A new horse complex and Ringmaster’s office was built.

    1995
  5. 1996

    The Showground Police Station opened, serving as a year round community policing and training venue.

    The RAS won an Advance Australia Award for Outstanding Community Service.

    1997

    A new “Elders” entrance was completed and the Jim Webster Pavilion opened showcasing fresh foods.

    Arena access tunnels were built.

  6. 1999

    The Agricultural Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute to the men and women who shaped our history and influenced the development of agriculture in Western Australia.

    WA becomes Australia’s largest canola producer.

    1999
  1. 2000

  2. 2000

    The David Buttfield House was restored to accomodate the Agricultural Hall of Fame.

    2001

    The Wool Pavilion was renamed the Ellie Eaton Pavilion after the first woman RAS councillor.

    2002
  3. 2002

    National touring festival the Big Day Out was held at the Claremont Showground for the first time.

  4. 2004

    In 2004 The Perth Royal Show was named a WA icon by the State Government.

    2005

    Inline hockey was first played at the Claremont Showground.

  5. 2006

    The first Long Table Lunch for breast cancer research was held at the Claremont Showground.

    2006
  6. 2008

    The Perth Royal Show welcomed its first naming rights sponsor, IGA.

    2009

    The Perth Royal Show was the first community event in the world to become smoke free.

  1. 2010

    The Royal Agricultural Society of WA was awarded the Australian Medical Association’s Healthier WA Award for its decision to make the Perth Royal Show smoke-free.

    The ‘A Pound of Flour’ cookbook by Pam Casellas was published paying tribute to the winners of the Perth Royal Show Cookery competition.

    Refurbishment of the Wilkinson Pavilion restored the heritage building to its original glory, creating a year round gallery for emerging artists.

  2. 2011

    Restoration work on the Centenary Pavilion commenced.

    The Show is announced as the first in a series of State-wide celebrations culminating in Perth, hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). All children 12 years and under receive free entry.