It’s bloomin’ good, but new blood is needed

Kirkham summer flower and craft show Chairman Terry Williams
Kirkham summer flower and craft show Chairman Terry Williams
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Kirkham and District Horticultural Society has been running a successful flower show in the town for 35 years.

In fact, two shows. Every year.

But over the decades, the increasing age of members, along with ill-health, has seen numbers decrease and membership almost halve.

The society is now in dire need of new blood and is hoping to attract more members.

Terry Williams, chairman and founder member, said: “In the past, we’ve had 100 members, now we are down to about 52. We only have about 17 people now regularly at meetings and we want to make sure we can continue to have enough people to do the shows every year.

“We get some stunning entries in the shows and a lot of people come along to have a look. But we could really do with some younger members, especially for the shows – there can be quite a lot of physical work to be done, moving tables and so on.

“It only costs £2.50 a year to be a member and people can come along to meetings, get involved with the shows, find out about planting and get tips and listen to guest speakers. We have really interesting guest speakers and there is chance for people to learn. There’s a good social side too.”

And Anne Welton, who organises speakers at the club, said: “I joined because gardening is among my interests. I had seen the shows the society does and was really impressed – they were extremely good.

“I really enjoy being part of the society. You learn a lot about gardening and horticultural matters, tips and new techniques.

“We have some interesting speakers and there is always a wonderful atmosphere at the shows. I first went by myself, but now of course I have made lots of friends.

“It’s right in the middle of Kirkham, easy to get to, with a big, free car park and public transport. I think it is something which could interest younger people, once they move into their own home and have a garden.

“There’s a real social side of the group, we go on days out and evenings, visits to private gardens and so on.”

Fellow member Eric Branwood, who has regularly attended for about 10 years, said: “We get some good speakers, who are very interesting.

“My wife and I go together, but some people join because they are lonely. It gives them something to do and somewhere to go, it’s such a friendly club.”

Anyone interested in joining, can contact Lynda Medley on (01253) 780106. The next meeting is on Thursday, at 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, on Poulton Street, Kirkham.