The Society has been in existence since 1895, which makes it one of the oldest Horticultural Societies in the country. There is very little information available from the past but we hope to start collecting any items that are around. If you have anything concerning the Society's past, or its old members, we would be interested in seeing it and if suitable we will add it to the website. Please contact Louise Kemp by telephoning her on 01206 298122 or through the "contact us" link on the home page.
Original Bank Book
This is the original Post Office Savings book used when the Society was first set up all those years ago. The initial payment of £15.00 was quite a substantial sum in 1895.
Profile of Cup and Shield Providers
Over the years a number of our members have been kind enough to donate trophies to the Society to be presented to those who get the most points in the various categories at the Annual Show. These trophies have provided a lot of pleasure to those who won them and encouragement to others to try and do so.
Without the donation of these trophies the Show would lose a lot of its appeal we therefore think it is important for us to remember who these members were and the contribution they have made to Society.
This was kindly given to the Society by Leslie George Harris to be presented each year to the competitor at the Annual Show who gains the most points in Division 1.
The Harris family have been associated with East Bergholt and the area since 1917 and for a lot of this time have been part of our Society; currently George is one of our Vice Presidents. They are now into the fifth generation in the area, this is their story:
Leslie George Harris the son of George Henry Harris was born in Woodford. The family had been small time millers in Monks Eleigh and Preston for several generations but went out of business about 1880. They then took on the Vine public house in Nayland.
George Henry, as an impoverished country boy somehow obtained an apprenticeship in the drapery trade in London and thanks to hard work and determination, prospered. So much so that in 1917 he bought Oaks Farm in Holton St Mary, not to farm but as a holiday home for his family. In 1930 he added Woodgates Farm East Bergholt Starting the families association with our village. In 1933 he bought West Lodge, Stour as it is now known.
Henry George Harris and wife Kate year unknown
In the meantime in 1923 Leslie George had taken on the tenancy of Priory Farm Great Wenham. Unfortunately this was the start of the agricultural depression so the business failed and he moved away to the Cotswolds in 1931 but again the business failed and he was forced to take work in the drapery trade, which he hated.
By this time George Henry had let his land in East Bergholt to William Miller and in 1936 Leslie came home and formed a partnership with William called Miller and Harris and together they started to grow vegetables for the London Market.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Leslie joined the army, although he was officially too old and in a reserved occupation. After the war he left the army having achieved the rank of Captain and returned to the village and farm. As William Miller was now dead and after adding Richardsons and Allens farms to the business he concentrated on growing potatoes and vegetables. He was one of the first farmers to install irrigation and also had large pig and cattle herds. This gave employment to a large number of people in the village. He was also taking an active part in many of the societies and activities in the village, including our own society and it was in at this time that he donated the trophy to the society.
Leslie George Harris left presenting the Worth Challenge Cup to Bill Stroud
Sadly in 1970 he suffered a severe stroke and was incapacitated and unable to speak. He died in 1975, greatly missed by his only son Timothy George, the rest of the family, friends and many others in the village.
Timothy, an only child was born in 1928 and on the death of George Henry in 1951 and after 2 years at Sutton Bonnington Agricultural University was able to start his farming career at Firs Farm Boxford in 1953. He is still there farming there to this day.
George and his sister Charlotte were born at Firs Farm in 1957 and 1959 respectively. After three years at Writtle Agricultural College George married in 1980 and moved to Richardsons Farm where he lives today
The families farm expanded in 1993 with the purchase of Grange Farm Lawford and even though there is a 15 mile distance between the three farms, with large modern equipment they are all run as one unit.
George's only child James, born in 1982 has followed in the family farming tradition. He studied at Harper Adams Agricultural University and in 2005 started work at the farm as the fifth generation of Harris's. He has recently moved into Marton House next to the farm.
From right to left Timothy, George & James Harris with Rodney Moss
Outside the Old Blacksmiths in 2009.
Unfortunately this was around the time of its closure.
The Tatum Cup was presented by the late Bert Tatum who was born and bred in East Bergholt.
He was a member of the East Bergholt Horticultural Society and a very keen gardener. Bert achieved many aims with his great knowledge of agriculture by winning the Worth Challenge Cup on many occasions even with very serious rivalry from other expert gardeners like Vic Reed and Brian Bartlet.
Although his favourite pastime was growing vegetables he also had a desire to develope new styles of flowers such as the chrysanthemums that won the Fison Cup with the best exhibit in The East Of England Show. It stood over six feet tall and was six feet in diameter having one hundred and fifty plus blooms all larger than tennis balls. Another of his unusual feats was to graft several different colour chrysanthemums onto one stem with amazing results.
Bert hard at work with one of his prize creations. You would be proud to own this marvellous multi-coloured chrysanth obtained from a simple technique. Using Pink Princess Anne as the rootstock Bert grafted Yellow Princess Anne, Bronze Princess Anne and Cream Princess Anne resulting in a plant with 250 blooms. A real prize winner
Some Other Show Photos
Sidney Worth, Mrs Wheeler and Harry Mead presenting the Worth Cup to Bert Tatum with
Commander Dathan in the Dr McBride and Mr A Clifton looking on.
These were taken when the show was held in the field behind the old snooker hall, we are not sure of the year. Anyone any ideas?