Upgrading Wingham Showground

Some of the timber from the cattle sheds has been repurposed on the new tea room veranda.
Some of the timber from the cattle sheds has been repurposed on the new tea room veranda.

The spacious tearooms are undergoing a transformation which it is hoped will make them suitable for event hire.

The ceiling has been lined, the floor is receiving new vinyl, new aluminium windows have been installed and the whole space will soon be air-conditioned.

Wingham Showground is one of the most widely used on the north coast with a wide range of user groups using it on a regular basis.

These include Wingham Pony Club, Wingham Campdraft Club and the Mountain View Archery Club.

It is also home to a number of major events throughout the year including the Wingham Show, Beef Week and the Wingham Akoostik Festival.

However there hasn't been any large events held at the showground since the COVID-19 restrictions were announced earlier this year.

This has allowed plenty of time for upgrades.

New aluminium windows have been installed in the tea rooms.

New aluminium windows have been installed in the tea rooms.

As well as the replacement of the cattle pavilion, other recent improvements at the showground either completed or in the planning include: significant upgrades to the existing amenities, a screening hedge, new safety fence around the rodeo arena, a new access slope to the kiosk plus a huge electrical upgrade to the whole showground.

The Wingham Spinners and Weavers group will also be getting a new shed this year and there is even talk of new murals at the entrance gates.

"There's plenty `happening and it's all very positive," Denis McKinnon, secretary of the Crown Land Management Board said.

Just under two years ago the Wingham Showground Trust, tasked with the management of the showground, was replaced with the Crown Land Management Board.

President Robert Walsh heads up a seven member board committed to making the showgrounds safe and accessible for all.

"We're making it more user friendly and all the user groups are very happy with how we're running it," Robert said.

He hopes the whole community can benefit from the changes.

"This is the people's showground and it's there for anyone to use," he added.