History of the Society

The Burton and District Horticultural Society, in its present form, was inaugurated at an open meeting on 2 December 1948 under the auspices of the Burton Entertainments Committee. There were eleven members of the public present and Mr Fairclough was the Chairman of the meeting. Mr G. Maitland-Phillips was appointed President for the first year, and Mr C. Pimlett was appointed Honorary Secretary. The first Treasurer, Mr L.G. Roberts, was appointed on 20th April 1949.

The first committee meeting was held at Strathalyn three days after the inauguration on 5th December 1948, when Mr Lewis was appointed Chairman and Mr Evans Vice Chairman. Fees were agreed for Foundation Membership at 2/6 (two shillings and six pence, or 12½p), Vice President 10/6 and Patron £1.1.0. The President advanced a loan of £5 to the Society for initial expenses.

The second committee meeting was held on Sunday 12th December at which it was agreed the first show would be held on 30th July 1949 in conjunction with the Gala. The show was held at Cam-yr-Alyn Park. A Show Committee and an Entertainments sub-committee (later renamed as The Social Committee) were appointed. The sub-committee was to consider methods of raising funds for the Society. The objects of the Society were agreed, and the annual subscription was fixed at 2/6. 

The next committee meeting was held on 9th January 1949 at which it was agreed £4 would be paid to the printers R. Bentley & Son, who continue to print materials for the Society to this day. The first show schedule was presented. There were 110 classes—compared to 109 at the 2013 show—with prize money of £68.3.0—compared to £467 at the 2013 show—and the entry fee for each class was fixed at one penny. The first judge was Mr Spice of Grove Cottage, Acton. Approval was given to a Grand National Draw to raise funds; tickets were sixpence (a book of six costing 2/6) and the first prize was £10, second £3 and third £2. The surplus made was £45.

Later committee meetings confirmed:

  • The Society applied for affiliation with the Royal Horticultural Society in January 1949 and a Banksian medal was obtained. This was to be awarded for the highest number of points in the amateur class for the 1949 show.
  • By 23rd January 1948, there were 6 Patrons, 6 Vice Presidents and 45 members.
  • Entrance charges to the Gala on 30th July were 1/6 by programme purchased in advance or 2/- at the entrance gate. It was agreed that it would not be fair to make a further charge for entry to the show tent, and a proportion of the entrance charges—to be agreed—should be available to the Society. It was subsequently agreed, inter alia, that 50% of entrance receipts be allocated to the Society.
  • The Susan Challenor Cup was presented to the Society on 10th February 1949, with the stipulation that competition be limited to residents in Burton & Allington parishes and that in the event of the cessation of the Society it be handed back to the donors Messrs L. and R. Challenor.
  • Cups donated in time for the 1949 show included the Susan Challenor Cup, a cup from Mrs J. Holland, a cup from Mr & Mrs D.R. Redropp, a cup from G. Maitland-Phillips, a cup from G. Shepherd and one from T. Millington.
  • The 1950 show was held on the Saturday before the August bank holiday with new classes to attract the farming community and ladies to be introduced.

The first Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 12th December 1949 at The Institute, Rossett. There were 39 members in attendance, including three ladies. There were over 160 members of the Society and a committee of 20. The treasurer reported a loss on the 1949 show of £39.12.0 and £96.15.3 balance in hand. A proposal to form a ladies committee was not proceeded with. A proposal to pay two honorariums of £5 each was agreed but the recipients declined. However a request to buy a typewriter at a cost of £20 was agreed on a vote.

The name of the Society was changed to Burton and Rossett Horticultural Society in December 1952, and registered as a charity (No. 500057) in March 1970.