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Stoke Gabriel Horticultural Society

Category: Clubs, Societies & Preschool

Stoke Gabriel Horticultural Society
If you love plants and gardening, no matter what level your
expertise, we’d love to invite you to join our friendly group of
growers!
We get together during the year to organise three main events in
the village:
Plant sale – early May
A range of plants grown by our members, from vegetables and
herbs to bedding plants and annuals, are sold to raise money to
fund the Annual Village Show.
Early Summer Show – June
Many gardens are at their peak in June and this is the opportunity
to show off your most glorious flowers whether it’s roses, sweet
peas (if you’ve managed to get them sown early enough!) or other
seasonal flowers. We also have a raffle and sell coffee and
homemade cakes.
Annual Village Show – 3rd Saturday in August
Everyone loves a traditional village show and ours is no exception.
There are classes for homegrown vegetables, fruit, flowers, pot
plants, floral art, photography, baking and jams, craft, textiles and
homemade wines and spirits. There’s also a section for children so
the whole family can take part! Cash prizes are awarded for 1st,
2nd and 3rd prize and there are cups awarded for best in class.
All events take place in the village hall and precise dates are
advertised each year in the parish magazine and on the Stoke
Gabriel Good Neighbours Facebook page as well as posters
around the village.
We always welcome new members to grow plants for the sale or
help organise the events, but we are equally happy to see you
there!
For more information, contact:
Pia Barrett, secretary, aishbarton@btinternet.com
Hilary Brown, chairperson, hilian2011@gmail.com
History
During the darkest days of the 2nd World War, the Village Home
Guard founded the “Stoke Gabriel Home Guard Potato and
Vegetable Society” as their contribution to the national “Dig for
Victory” campaign. Shows of potatoes and other produce were held
right from the start, and the annual show included a special
competition for the village Home Guard platoon.
The winners of the Potato Shows of 1940 and 1941 received prizes
donated by the “Peoples’ Refreshment House Association”. The first
full show appears to have been on 5 September 1942, with the
report making front page news of the Totnes Times a week later.
Only one year has been missed since then!
When the Home Guard was disbanded in June 1945, the Society
decided not to take “demob” with them, and at a public meeting on
17th June 1945 it was agreed that it should be known as “The
Stoke Gabriel Horticultural Society” – and so it has been ever since!
The 1942 show classes were mainly for vegetables – potatoes,
beetroots, and kidney beans – with some prizes of garden tools,
with Mr A King winning a garden fork for the best dish of shallots!
The village ladies were also invited to show off their culinary skills
with cakes, baked apples and dishes of “cooked potatoes in their
jackets”, and the school children entered vases of wild flowers –
some of those young 1940s prize-winners still live in and around the
village and until recently a number of today’s committee members
were descended from the original organisers!