There has been a Horticultural and District Society in Wolverhampton for many years. There is a mention of the Society in the Local History Archives back in 1865 but the present incarnation started in 1953.
It was a very different era then. Many of the foods were still on ration and people had become used to “digging for victory”. Most gardens had a vegetable plot which was a necessity, not just a hobby. The first meeting was held on November 5th 1952, with fortnightly meetings “of an educational nature” during the winter and with visits to gardens in the summer. Annual membership was five shilling (25p) and within a year there were 200 members. The first show was held in the YMCA in Stafford Street, Wolverhampton in 1953 with 66 classes of exhibits. The entrance fee was 6d (2 1/2 pence) per exhibit, payable by postal order.
Nearly sixty years later, the Society still holds regular meetings (monthly now) and talks which are hopefully still of an educational nature. Our Annual Show in September continues to thrive, with nearly 400 exhibits in 2011, and after a lapse of several years we are now arranging garden visits in the summer. Primarily for administrative ease members voted to amend the Society’s name to Wolverhampton Horticultural Society in 2011 but still welcome members from across the region.
If you have any early photographs or memorabilia relating to the Society we would be pleased to share it.