IT IS the agricultural show whose history stretches back further than 175 years.

To mark the return of Romsey Show this weekend, the Daily Echo takes a look back at the show four decades ago.

The largest attendance was set up until that date on September 9, 1978 - but that wasn’t the only record smashed that year,

Although the show clashed with Saints took on Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Dell and the air show in Farnborough was in full flight, estimates put the attendance at 4,500 more than the previous record of 22,870.

There were nearly 700 horses and ponies, nearly 1,100 dogs, 150 goats and more than 300 caged birds, all exceeding the previous year’s entries.

Re-organisation of the avenue of trade stands enabled a record 220 to be squeezed in, and the 250 feet rural industries marque was full all day with 50 stalls on view.

The Royal Corps of Military Police display team - the Redcaps - had the spectators cheering at their tent, while The Parachute Regiment’s free-fall team - the Red Devils - landed in the ring.

The children’s corner and Royal Marines’ 24 feet high climbing frame kept the youngsters occupied.