ONE of the problems that appears to have been exercising the minds of Worcester City councillors in recent weeks is how to make a profit out of the revived city show on Pitchcroft.

Although perhaps not so much how to make a profit, but how not to make so large a loss.

Having tried to appeal to showgoers’ consciences last year by making entrance free but asking for appropriate “donations”,  which received a fairly predictable response, the proposal for the 2024 event is to revert to charging a fee. And the best of luck with that.

But if National Hunt race meetings held at the same venue can secure the perimeter, why not Worcester Show. We shall see.

The event began as a glorified flower show on the King’s School sportsground in New Road in the Fifties, moved locations a couple of times to Pitchcroft and then Perdiswell and back again, and grew to feature everyone from Olympic showjumpers to the rather freaky.

Among the main ring attractions at one show was a gent of none too tender years who twice a day jumped from the top of a 30 metre tower into a pool of water topped by burning oil.

Then there was the very-popular-with-the-lads sideshow which involved every time a bullseye was scored a girl in a bikini being released from a swing into a bathing bath. Perhaps not surprisingly it was organised by the young gentlemen of Worcester Round Table.

My best personal memory was going along one year to interview a famed Punch and Judy man, who was in full flow as I strolled up with a Labrador puppy in tow.

Everything seemed to be going well until Mr Punch used some rather fruity language considering the age of his audience. Only then did I realise the puppy had wandered through an open flap into the back of the booth and relieved itself on the famed operator’s foot. But that’s showbiz.

 The problem with the city show was that the weather gods never really liked it.

Invariably the event, either on one day or two, was blighted by cloudy skies and showers. Sunny days were few and far between. Almost without fail the show made a financial loss and seeing as it was basically underwritten by the city council that didn’t go down well in some quarters.

The intentions were good, but the end result rarely so.

Based on the county show format, the programme centred on a main ring with horse events, which attracted the likes of David Broome and Harvey Smith (household names in the 1960-70s when show jumping was prime time TV).

There were also spectaculars, such as the aforementioned diving into flaming water, vintage cars displays, grass track racing, marching bands, dog shows, side shows and a music-throbbing fairground.

In 1958, the Evening News and Times reported: “It (the show) began as a flower show and the horticultural classes are still of major importance. It incorporates a horse show and gymkhana, a traction engine display and rally, shows of dogs, rabbits and cage birds, a skiffle group contest, a motorcycle football match and an exhibition of free-style wrestling.

“Trade exhibits have multiplied and there are all sorts of interesting sidelights, such as the beautiful display of handicrafts by  Worcester’s handicapped and disabled persons.

"There are housewives competitions in cake baking, preserves and bottled fruit and a beekeepers section with classes for honey and other hive products. But one thing has not improved – the weather.

"It was raining a steady stream when the gates opened.”

At the start of the 1980s, with the event was losing £10,000 annually, Worcester City Council decided to pull the plug. Which was a shame because what better way to spend a summer day than watching a bloke dive 100ft through burning oil.