The Winthorpe Garden Club was formed in April 1995. The then Editor of the village magazine Focal Point had been approached by some residents and realised that there could be an interest in such a club. He took the liberty of booking the Village Hall as a venue and placed a notice in the magazine asking for those interested to attend. It was estimated that ten to twelve villagers would be attracted. In fact the Village Hall was crowded with 38 people and a slide show on Dutch bulbs was shown.
It was agreed to hold another pilot meeting in the following month to assess if this interest would be sustained. It obviously was as the attendance was 40.
At this meeting a committee was formed.
Chairman - Peter Milroy.
Secretary - Ian Wilson.
Treasurer - Brenda Burton.
and two members to make up a committee of five.
The Club has been completely successful, meeting in the months of January, February, March, April (A.G.M), May and June when an annual outing is organised visiting a popular garden that is open to the public. It then resumes in October and November but leaves December free for the Festive period.
Speakers are arranged for all meetings, except January when the New Year is celebrated with a party. Another popular feature of each meeting is ‘Pat's Quiz'. Members are asked to answer garden questions set by committee member Mr. Pat. Finn. Funds are raised by a modest membership fee, a monthly raffle and plant sale. The Club does not hold competition events of garden produce. It is basically a social evening, with a garden theme for Winthorpe residents but is also attracting guests from adjoining villages who are becoming very welcome members.
The Club meets on the third Wednesday in the months mentioned above. Speaker's subjects have ranged from "Wild flowers in the Countryside" to "How to prepare for the Chelsea Flower Show". Specialists in growing most plants and professional designers and nurserymen are among those who give the club the benefit of their knowledge. Not (of course) forgetting our own members who can discuss problems of their own garden such as: "Why is the grass greener the other side of the fence?" and sometimes get a helpful answer!
The present committee members are
Chairman - Ian Wilson.
Secratary - Joan Looke.
Treasurer - Nan. Jackson.
Outings Secretary - Jean Foden.
and Pat. Finn, Mavis Fretwell, Pat. Nelson, Harold Pacey, Alison Smith, Margaret Wiseman.
Winthorpe Garden Club, which now meets in the Community Centre, has been a success from its formation and at the present time boasts a membership of 48 - may it continue to prosper.
Mr. Peter Milroy. June 2004.