Knockholt Horticultural Society
At the age of at least 129 years Knockholt Horticultural Society is probably the oldest social organisation in the village.
Whilst there is reference to an 1884 flower show we take our birth date from a set of 1889 accounts when an annual subscription was one guinea, at the annual summer show a band was hired for £3 10s and the Police charged 6s to maintain order! Total prize money exceeded £22 whilst lunch for the judges cost a modest 13s 6p.
The Smithers family had a long association with the society and Shows in the early 1900’s were held at Homefield which featured exhibitions, stalls and pony rides alongside the fierce competition between the head gardeners of the local gentry, all quite the big village day out and probably a combination of the current Horticultural Show and Carnival.
Minutes from meetings in the 1950’s onwards reflect a very active society with a committee dotted with Knights and Brigadiers, 70/80 active members and various events including a 1969 talk and film show on the subject of garden chemicals…how times have changed.
Pleased to have been hosting events and shows for nearly 130 years
At the 1989 centennial show the best vegetable exhibition secured the prize of a Diploma from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners plus a bottle of gin.
The next decade saw two of our members Alma Andrews and Michael Glasspool delving into the fiercely competitive cauldron of the Chelsea Flower Show entering in the hanging basket/window box section and achieving Silver in 1999, Silver Gilt in 2000 and finally in 2001 Gold, a magnificent achievement.
The society continues to flourish with in excess of 100 members and with an eye to the past the current committee is proud to maintain and enhance the long tradition of the society in changing times though we will leave the final word to Osmund Hill, a secretary of the society who in 1970 said....
“ Organisations such as ours and others constitute the life and soul of the village and knit the community together”
48 years on we tend to agree.
Click here to visit the Knockholt Horticultural Society website