Freshwater Horticultural Society
A Brief History of the Society
The Society was formed in 1873. In its early days Alfred, Lord Tennyson was at one time President of the Society, he and Lady Tennyson donated prize money and for a number of years the shows were held in the ground of their home, Farringford.
After a break of 20 year during and after the Second World War, the Society was revived in 1959 by Rev K.A. Puntan, former rector of All Saints Church, Freshwater.
In 1962 the Summer Show was held on Stroud Recreation Ground and within two hours of the opening ceremony more than 1,000 adults had paid for admission to the marquee in which more than 650 exhibits were housed. 40 new members were enrolled during the course of the afternoon. 1962 was also the year of the inaugural Autumn Show. In 1963 the largest marquee on the Island (at that time!) was hired for the Summer Show at All Saints’ Junior School playing field with a previous year’s total. By comparison, in what was considered to be a bumper year, the Summer Show in 2011 attracted 545 entries from 80 exhibitors. In the 1980’s the Summer Show moved to Freshwater Memorial Hall where it is still held. In 1993 the Society celebrated its 100th Summer Show by holding it once again under canvas, this time in Granny’s Mead opposite Farringford.
The Society Now
The Society now holds three shows each year – in March the Spring Show is held at Wesley Church & Hall, the Summer Show in August is held at Freshwater Memorial Hall, and the Autumn Show in October at Wesley Church & Hall. As well as the shows a series of lecture evenings are held throughout the year with a wide variety of subjects being covered. Admission to the talks is £2 for members and £3 for non-members to include tea/coffee and a biscuit. Garden visits and social events also take place.
The shows are not all about flowers, fruit and vegetables – there are also classes for floral art, handicrafts, cookery, art and photography.
Our current membership stands at approximately 180 with annual subscriptions of £5 for sole and £9 for joint members renewable each year at our AGM in February.
For further information on any aspect of the Society please contact our secretary Jenny Burgess on 759097
- Details coming soon…