Southport Chrysanthemum and Gardening Society is celebrating its 70th birthday!
The organisation was founded in 1950, five years after the end of World War Two, and was due to mark its seven decades in existence last year – but sadly the celebrations had to be put on hold because of the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
The celebrations will instead take place this month, with 70 members of the Society enjoying a celebratory meal at Clouds restaurant at Southport College.
The friendly Society boasts approximately 200 members who meet at 8pm on the third Wednesday of every month between September and May. People are invited to come and join them.
Alan Foxall from the Society said: ”We are looking forward to celebrating our 70th anniversary! We should have marked the occasion last year, but because of Covid lockdowns, we have not been able to have any meetings, or hold any shows.
“A week today we are all going to Clouds restaurant at Southport College for lunch to celebrate our 70th anniversary.
“There are going to be 70 of us, which is quite nice!
“We must have had four different dates for this celebration over the last few months!
“I joined Southport Chrysanthemum Society when I was 18 and I am 69 years old now. I can’t believe it! Where has time gone!”
Alan has enjoyed a passion for gardening and for growing top quality flowers since an early age, a passion he has retained all his life.
He worked as the Nursery Manager for the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown in Southport for an incredible 46 years.
He joked: “You don’t get that long for murder now! They were really good days working at the Botanic Gardens.”
Alan has won a huge amount of trophies and awards at Southport Flower Show and in many other competitions.
He said: “When I looked back in the old archives, everyone working at Botanic Gardens has been connected with the Southport Chrysanthemum Society. Before me, it was Norman Wright; before him, it was Jack Lee. They have all been involved with the Society.”
People don’t have long to wait until their next show, with Marble Place shopping centre in Southport town centre inviting people to enjoy an Autumn Flower Show this October.
The showcase returns to Marble Place, on Chapel Street, on Saturday, 30th October and Sunday, 31st October.
Visitors to this free event can enjoy fabulous flowers, floral art, foliage – and spooky hand-carved and hand-decorated pumpkins!
Southport Chrysanthemum Society are delighted to be back at the centre for their first show since before the Covid pandemic two years ago.
Former Botanic Gardens Nursery Manager Alan Foxall has been a member of the organisation for the past 51 years.
Alan has won a huge number of awards from exhibiting at the annual Southport Flower Show and at many other floral competitions.
He said: “This is the first time that we will have been back at Marble Place shopping centre in Southport for two years, because of all the Covid lockdowns.
“We are pleased to be bouncing back! It will be the first flower show that people have seen in Southport for months.
“There are a number of different classes that people can enjoy.
“There will be lots of Chrysanthemums, in all their autumn shades and colours, while some superb floral art will also be on display.
“Because this show falls on Halloween weekend, there will be classes for decorated pumpkins, either with flowers in, or carved out.
“People entering them don’t need to grow the pumpkins themselves, they can go and source them from their local farm shop, greengrocer or supermarket.
“We will have classes for autumn foliage and autumn flowers from the garden, in addition to Chrysanthemums.
“We also have classes for fruit and veg, flowering pot plants, foliage pot plants, and cactus.
“During lockdown, there has been a tremendous increase in people buying house plants.
“Also taking part in the event this time will be Formby Flower Club, Southport & District Flower Club and Bridge Inn Community Farm, which will both be putting on displays for us.
“We are also going to have lots of old photos of the Society on show.
“We are really pleased to be back with the show. It is al;ways a really nice atmosphere there.”
If anyone would like to enter any of the classes, please call event organiser Alan Foxall on 01704 225708 for an entry form.
People will be asked to bring along any exhibits to the side entrance of Marble Place shopping centre between 6.30pm and 9.30pm on Friday, 29th October.
- The Southport Chrysanthemum Society Autumn Flower Show takes place at Marble Place shopping centre, on Chapel Street, Southport town centre, 10am-5pm on Saturday, 30th October and 10am-4.30pm on Sunday, 31st October, 2021. Admission is free.