Although the Long Ashton Flower Show has roots stretching back to 1880, the Show in its present form originated in 1918/19.
Founding of the Horticultural Society and the First Flower Show
In September 1918 as the First World War ended, at a meeting of The Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds (a friendly society) “The question of holding a Flower Show for the benefit of members” was discussed. Over the coming months arrangements were made for the Flower Show to take place in 1919 to raise money for a distress and relief fund. Many members of The Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds served in the armed forces during the First Wold War, sadly a number of them where never to return to Long Ashton
In February 1919 the organising committee agreed to be called “The Long Ashton Horticultural Society” with the first Flower Show scheduled to take place on 4th August 1919.
1919 – 1929
The date of the first Show coincided with the North Somerset Agricultural Society’s show and it was decided to hold the two events together in Ashton Park. There were often disagreements between the two societies. Consequently, the 1927 Flower Show was abandoned and in 1929 the two societies separated.
1930 – 1950
In 1936, the Royal British Legion joined with the Horticultural Society to assist in organising sporting events and dancing as part of the Show. 1939 was the last Show to take place before the Second World War, during which the Flower Show did not take place.
The Show returned in 1946 and the Horticultural Society and the British Legion worked together organising the events until 1950.
The Sixties
For several years during the 1960’s, the Show was opened by stars of The Stage and Television. Beryl Reid (Actress), Hugh Lloyd (Actor), Patricia Bredin (first United Kingdom representative in the Eurovision Song Contest), Mrs Mills (Pianist), and Bruce Hockin (HTV anchor-man).
Gardeners’ Question Time
In 1974, members of the Long Ashton Horticultural Society put their questions to Fred Loads, Bill Sowerbutts and Chris Brickell and Michael Barratt.
It was different in the Olden Days
Since 1919 there have been many unusual competitions and classes, these have included;
• Collection of Queen Wasps,
• Collection of White Butterflies,
• Ladies Ankle Competition,
• Mixed Musical Chairs,
• Tug-O-War,
• Guess the Weight of The Pig (Prize being the pig),
• Boxing Tournament,
• as well as the traditional Fruit, Vegetable and baking classes.
Now and the Future
The dedicated team that makes up the Flower Show Committee works throughout the year to bring you The Annual Long Ashton Flower Show. Regularly reviewing the schedule classes, making amendments where necessary and introducing new classes when possible. We welcome comments and suggestions from Members, Participants and visitors
Thank you to all those who support The Flower Show by joining the Horticultural Society, entering exhibits, attending The Show, donating raffle prizes and volunteering to help as stewards and with the setting up.