Bright blooms and vibrant vegetables helped the green-fingered bunch at Garstang Gardening Club celebrate their 30th birthday.
Members came together for a fun quiz and buffet at Cabus Village Hall.
Current chairman Roger Broadbelt describes how the evening went: “I introduced the group’s founder and original chairman, Ben Andrews, who gave a talk on how the club was formed.
“Mr Andrews explained he had launched a gardening class in the Garstang district after he had taken early retirement as a lecturer at Myerscough College, and it was from the gardening class which the club emerged.
“Following Mr Andrews’ talk he led a candle lighting and cake cutting ceremony, blowing out the candles and cutting the cake, which had been decorated by Hilary Hine.
“The main part of the celebration was a horticulture-related quiz with the questions set and asked by Ruth Wiseman.
“She was assisted by Peter Wiseman and Hilary Hine.
“About 15 teams, each of about four people, took part in the quiz in which the questions ranged from serious to light-hearted. The team with the highest score was the “Bowland Beau and Belles” team. The quiz was followed by a buffet supper, with some of the eats on display being saved from the homecraft section of the club’s successful summer show two days earlier. After the supper I thanked all responsible for the success of the evening –the quiz people, Mr Andrews for his talk, and Barry and Marlene Till for looking after liquid refreshments.
“The club, which holds two shows a year, had showcased a summer harvest of flowers, fruit and vegetables earlier this month.
“Scores of blooms and impressive horticultural specimens, along with cakes and jams and photographs of glorious gardens were up for judging by experts in their relevant fields.
“Overall winner with the most points was popular grower Richard Kellet, a veteran gardener who is no stranger to trophies and other horticultural honours.
“Richard took away several trophies, plaques and medals from the show, which this year was organised for the first time by myself. It was another fantastic show in the club’s milestone year.
“The seeds which led to the formation of the club were sown by Ben Andrews with his wife Susan.
“Ben had retired in summer 1986 as a horticultural lecturer at Myerscough College, and soon embarked on starting up a day course in gardening at St Thomas’s Parish Hall, Garstang.
“The course was so successful, Ben asked the group if they would get behind an official gardening club. They were keen, so he booked the hall for an evening. Forty people turned up that first night and a total of 80 at the second. A committee was formed, with Ben as acting chairman. A programme was arranged, with meetings on the first Monday of the month through the winter and summer visits to gardens and nurseries. In its first year membership peaked at 147, though it usually runs around the 100 mark, with attendances being widely variable based on both subject and weather.
“Fred Downham, a personal friend of Ben’s and very much a ‘character’, and probably then at the height of his career as a writer and broadcaster, was elected club president early on and proved of huge value through his wide range of contacts. Since Fred retired Ben now occupies the presidential shoes, having previously served as chairman for 15 years.”
The group meets at The Crofters Hotel, A6, Cabus, Garstang. The next meeting is on Monday October 9 where the presentation will be garden design with Tim Smith of Lytham St Annes. For more information visit www.garstanggardeningclub.org.uk.