I feel that I have only now recovered from the Alresford Show and I’m sure I share that feeling with Ann Winfield who was largely responsible for the organisation of the Horticultural Show within a Show. Ann attended the Agricultural Committee wash-up meeting and reported on our behalf, thanking them for their help in mowing the grass and putting up tables. We were also grateful for the proximity of the water tap and supplies of hot water from the WI tent when required. The Agricultural Committee were delighted with our entries. For the record the horticultural entries were down this year and for the first time there were no entries in the flower arrangement category. It is getting increasingly expensive to run the Show with increases in admin costs and judges’ fees and so we were very grateful for members’ generosity in donating prizes for the Tombola which made approximately £600. This went some way towards covering our expenses. We have a few bits of lost property which I will bring to the next meeting and I lost a green striped folding chair if anyone knows of its whereabouts.
But time marches on and we are now thinking about our Christmas Supper – this year at the Swan Hotel on Wednesday 6th December. Val Ramshaw will shortly have application forms and menus so look out for those.
We were very disappointed that we had to cancel the trip to Parham House and Garden, scheduled for 4thOctober. The visit had been timed to catch the best of the autumn planting before the house closed for the winter and the weather was perfect. However, even with a modest cost of £35 per head we faced making a substantial loss as we were unable to fill the seats so at the last minute we cancelled and lost our deposit. Many groups are finding it difficult to organise visits using coach transport as costs continue to rise so we will have to think hard about plans for next year, perhaps restricting our visits to local gardens which can be accessed by private transport.
Many of you will already be aware that Ann Bravery has sadly died. Her funeral will be in Morden and there will be a Thanksgiving Service at St John’s, Alresford, the date of which has yet to be announced. Tony and Ann were stalwart members of the Horticultural Society for very many years. Tony died some years ago but is immortalised by his cup for the longest runner bean.
We are always looking for suggestions for speakers so I was pleased when one of our members suggested a talk on Woodland Management, particularly in view of all the activity taking place in the woods around Alresford. So we followed up the idea and for our October meeting are pleased to welcome Chris Westcott who will enlighten us all on sustainable woodland management.