Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Earlston Flower Show, 1932.

Auld Earlston is grateful to Earlston Horticultural Society for getting in touch with this report and photograph  on their show of 1932.  It was regarded as "the finest which had been held for a long period of years" and ended in the evening with a dance to music by the Nenthorn Jazz Band.    Read on below......

The Earlston Horticultural Society Committee with the Countess of Lauderdale, who opened the show and Miss Mary Betts (Nurse Betts) who presented the bouquet (the picture is taken at the side door of the Corn Exchange, the site of which is now occupied by Hanover Close).

Front Row (left to right) G Graham (treasurer), Major Sharp of The Park, Mary Betts, Countess of Lauderdale, T Taylor (secretary), D Hogg, J Johnstone, T Bradford.

Back Row (left to right) J Cummings sen, J Mather, W Brockie, G Darling, R Ballantyne, W Purves, J Ross, J Cummings jun.


Held in the Corn Exchange, the opening ceremony was performed by the Countess of Lauderdale.

Major R.W Sharp, of The Park, presided, and a large attendance of the public was present. In his introductory remarks, Major Sharp said it was a great privilege to introduce the Countess of Lauderdale on the first occasion she has attended a public function in Earlston. They all hoped it would not be the last. He noticed that since coming to reside at Thirlestane Castle, the Countess had been taking a great deal of interest in her home town of Lauder. He hoped she would extend her interest to include the sister town of Earlston.

The Countess thanked Major Sharp for his kind words, and expressed her pleasure in coming to the show. She was taking every opportunity of meeting her neighbours. The Earlston Show was one of the great functions of the year, and was reckoned as one of the best in the Borders. The standard of the exhibits had always been high, and from what she had seen it was higher than ever this year. The countess was only starting her gardening career, and was somewhat of a novice, but she was hoping to get a few tips today, and probably next year she would come back as a competitor and clear the decks. There is nothing better for people than taking a great interest in their gardens, and the Society was giving encouragement in this direction. She was pleased to see that the young people were being encouraged, and it was gratifying to see their splendid exhibits. She had much pleasure in declaring the show open, and wished it all success in the future. 

A lovely bouquet was presented to the Countess by Mary Betts, the youthful daughter of one of the chief exhibitors. On the call of Mr Tom Bradford, a cordial vote of thanks was given to the Countess of Lauderdale, and also to Major Sharp.

The  report in The Border Telegaph" noted that the show was one of the finest which has been held for a long period of years. No doubt the season has been favourable for horticulturists, but several young members have begun to take an interest, and their exhibits were extraordinarily fine. The vegetable section has always been a feature of the show, and this year was no exception, and in all classes competition was very keen. J.R Hope, of Wester Housebyres, a new exhibitor staged a lot of splendid vegetables. For a year or two the cut flower section has been rather weak. On the present occasion,  the reverse has been the case, as the exhibits would have held their own in shows of a larger size. The outstanding features were the sweet peas shown by John Johnston, Carolside, who again won the cup presented by the Countess of Lauderdale, and the gladiolii shown by Willie Brockie. The latter gentleman had some very magnificent spikes. Pot plants were, as usual, somewhat limited in competition. Fruit was scarcely up to the best standard, but the industrial section upheld its honourable place.

During the afternoon the show was well patronised. Musical sections were provided by Mr Fisher’s Orchestra. At the close of the show,  a dance was held, for which the music was provided by the Nenthorn Jazz Band. A great deal of the success of the exhibition was due to the untiring work of Tom Taylor, secretary, and George Graham, treasurer.     

Earlston Horticultural Society would like to thank Mrs Margaret Wilson, for providing the photograph and report featured.


The Society continues  to be active in the village with an Annual Plant Sale and Coffee Morning mid May and its Annual Flower Show held on the last Saturday in August. 


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