by  Tom Cromack
 Following the attainment of its 200th anniversary, Bute Agricultural Society decided to commission the production of a detailed history of the Society, which has recently been published. The book in 172 pages, illustrated with 45 black and white and 14 coloured photographs, documents the history of the Society.  It details the formation of the Society in 1806 and its subsequent development in the support of Agricultural improvement in Bute. An annual ploughing match was it’s first endeavour followed by the awarding of premiums for Cattle and Horses. These quickly expanded into an Annual Spring Show, at a later date an additional Autumn Foal Show and many other rural competitions. Post War the show moved from May to summer, settling finally in the 2nd Wednesday in August.  The officers of the Society and the major prize winners at most of the Society’s shows and competitions are detailed.
Through the unfolding history of the Society, the book documents the farms and farming families of Bute, including the Bute family, who supported the formation of the Society and were involved with the activities of the Society for most of the period, and the changes in livestock types and breeds over the 200 year period.
 The Society’s involvement in activities to improve agricultural production on Bute, the provision of services for the rural community and the raising of money for charitable purposes are discussed. Its charitable activities included support to Bute troops during both World Wars and it continues to support a wide range of charitable activities on Bute.
The book concludes that with the continuing support of the rural community the Society is well placed to go forward into its next century.
The Buteman.... remarkably detailed book ... making public for the first time  an unrivalled record of the development of rural life on Bute...
 The book is available for  £12 [£10 to members] (plus p&p) from the Secretary.