Dannevirke has to get in behind the district's A&P Show, trade exhibitor Craig Lancaster says.

Mr Lancaster, owner of Lancaster Tractor Services, told the Dannevirke News although it cost him to be at the show, it was about supporting the organisation.

"Every tractor we transport to the show costs us $1000, just one way, but the day is about talking to people and enjoying the event," he said.

 The 1927 trade exhibits with Ford Cars stand at the left. The Ford name has been with the show since 1910 and continue today.
The 1927 trade exhibits with Ford Cars stand at the left. The Ford name has been with the show since 1910 and continue today.

Ken Mills is the organiser of the A&P Association's trade exhibitors at the show and his dedication to it saw him presented with the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand's medal of excellence in 2012.

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Mr Mills has been on the show committee since 1960 and went along to his first show in 1947 with his parents.

"It's still where town and country meet and there's been a trade display as part of the show since 1910. My dad first began displaying cars in the show in 1923, so it's in my blood,'' he said.

The Dannevirke and Districts A&P Show in 1937-38, the large black sign to the right was Ken Mills' father's vehicle stand in the trades section of the show. Ken still has the sign.
The Dannevirke and Districts A&P Show in 1937-38, the large black sign to the right was Ken Mills' father's vehicle stand in the trades section of the show. Ken still has the sign.

"Unfortunately, entries in the trade section were down slightly this year," he said. "It's been a very hard year and I think there was so much on people weren't able to commit to our show."

Mr Mills said the Dannevirke and Tararua Districts A&P Association was lucky to have a marvellous facility which it owned - the showgrounds on High St.

"We are one of the few associations which own their own grounds and hopefully this year was just a lull in entries and they'll be back up again next year," he said.

One brand name which has been on display at the A&P Show since it began in 1910, 108 years ago, is Ford.

"Once upon a time we had franchises in this town representing every model of vehicle and they were all on display at the show," Mr Mills said.

"We're lucky to still have the support of Ford, through KB Ford."

And although Mr Mills has talked about retiring, A&P Association president Brian Beale is adamant that won't be happening.

"Ken has given a lifetime of dedicated service to our show. He's one of those people only too happy to keep on making our show happen.

"Without people like Ken, we wouldn't have a show,'' he said.

Mr Mills exhibited vehicles at the show from 1955, until 1990. In 1988 he was show president and convener of the trade section - a position he still holds.

"I have great support from everyone," he said.