Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cookham Cottagers Horticultural and Industrial Society.

Cookham Cottagers Horticultural and
Industrial Society.
My researching and memories have taken me back this time to way over a hundred years and the founding of The Cookham Cottagers Horticultural and Industrial Society. The Industrial part in the title goes back to when Boot and Shoe making was a thriving industry in the village.
Over the years it has gradually changed as the Industrial part faded away together with the Horticultural and Farming aspects which branched away on their own. This left just the professional and cottage gardeners who would compete in what became to be known as The Cookham Flower Show.
For many years this show was held under the benevolent auspices of Colonel Ricardo, on a field which is now part of The Odney Club, just off Mill Lane.
Here it remained until the beginning of the Second World War. After which it was moved to Dean Meadow.
In the 1930’s I remember there was very keen competition in the various classes. There was I remember a Professional Gardeners class. One for Cottage and Allotment Holders, who, not only entered their produce, but also entered their gardens and allotments to be judged. The ladies of course entered in the flower arranging and baking skill contests. The school children were not left out as there were classes for wild grasses, wild flowers, all of which had to be arranged and named as well.
To top it off there was the fairground with all the roundabouts and swings. Plus of course Horace Spencer who would entertain the crowd with his card tricks and magic.

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