Author Archives: Peter

The Future of the Society

Rickmansworth Garden, Arts & Homecrafts Society

October 2021

Dear Member

First and foremost, obviously the wish is that you are going well.  Unfortunately some people have had a harder time than others and in these cases we hope you have met with caring and kindness.

At this time and as things stand, there are no plans to activate our Society for the remainder of this year and the crux of this decision is the management of the Society.

We have an earnest plea.

The Society is in dire need of an enthusiastic and energetic committee, with the drive to uplift it to the community association it has the potential to be.  With the best will in the world, the current committee members are not in a position to do this.  In fact most have stood down having given many years of dedicated work.

In the past the committee has met once a month, for two hours – depending 0on the role of the person there is additional time to this but nothing onerous.

Historically there have been three shows, this was reduced to two in recent years, a quiz night, outings, a holiday and the monthly open evenings, as well as management of the membership records, the website and fiscal matters.  Nothing is cast in stone, the “new” society can make plans to introduce novel ideas and exciting projects and manage it in line with to-day’s lifestyle.

The Rickmansworth & District Horticultural Society was inaugurated 85 years ago and it would be a sad event if it were to close its doors.  The name of the Society changed a few years ago to Rickmansworth Garden, Arts and Homecrafts Society as the feeling is this better demonstrates the Society is more than just a horticultural society.

The last 18 months have brought a resurgence of gardeners, crafters and people cooking and baking – the time is ripe to being part of a society to swap and share ideas.

A society is only as strong as the community it serves.  Please give serious thought as to your place in our community and step up to the plate to join with people who will revive Rickmansworth Garden, Arts and Homecrafts Society to add value to this lovely town.  There is also the opportunity to rope in fresh members to help with this !!

Please email us at with your contact details if you would like to discuss this.  We will be in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Your Standing Committee

December 2021

Dear Member

Tis the Season to be Jolly – whatever your belief – the bright, beautiful lights and Christmas music is uplifting during these dark winter days and how wonderful!, we have had the longest night of the year and slowly but surely our days are going to get longer and lighter.  And, of course, the excitement of children is a treat to behold.

Unfortunately, with a sense of déja vue, we are once again at Christmas at the mercy of Covid-19.  Thankfully we do not have the lockdown regulations of last year, so we hope you will be able to spend joyous and fun times with family and friends.

Covid-19 appears to have no mercy as to who falls victim, so we hope you and your dearest ones have managed to be fully vaccinated and in turn had the booster shot.

Following our plea for people to step up to the plate to form a new committee and bring the Society to a current organisation that suits to-day’s world, three people have come forward.  Committee members who are available will be meeting with them in January.  We will keep you abreast of the discussions and what evolves.

We wish one and all a very Merry and Happy Christmas and good health in 2022.

Take care and stay well.

Your Committee


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In Peter’s Garden

(but not all at the same time)

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President’s Message for 2020

It is with some sadness that our Chairman, Matt Nutt, resigned from his post. Family and work commitments had to take precedence. He worked very hard rebranding and promoting the society. However I am delighted that he will stay on as a committee member dealing with social media and the local press and I am very pleased that Ann Furness, our secretary, has agreed to take over the chair. She took charge of organizing several events last year, all of which were very successful, as well as booking our speakers.

It was a funny year weather wise – a lovely spring like period in February when plants decided it was time to start growing and popped their heads above the soil and then a very cold wet spell when they all went back to sleep.
Our two shows were well attended with more new exhibitors, especially in the handicraft classes in which we increased the number of categories.

We had some disappointments. The Bury fete was unnecessarily cancelled. We usually replenish the coffers with the proceeds from the plant stall. I hope this year we will get back on track. The schools potato challenge was successful inasmuch as the children enjoyed growing the potatoes but we were hoping the parents would get involved by attending the Autumn show for the weigh-in and thereby be interested in the society. Unfortunately not one parent turned up. We also expended a considerable time, effort and expense advertising and promoting the society. Sadly this did not lead to an increase in membership which steadily diminishes every year.

We must not be complacent. The average age of our members and committee is rising. If we cannot attract new younger members, I can see that our society will cease to exist within ten years.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who have supported and helped us during the year, and the rest of the committee members who have worked tirelessly to enable us to carry on as a society.

Heather Pinder

December 2019

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Autumn Show 2019


Highest points in floral fruit & vegetable classesBanwell Perpetual Challenge CupJohn Brackley
Junior member best exhibitC E Venning Perpetual Challenge CupCharlotte Sealy
Best fruit exhibitClutterbuck CupPhillip Gibbs
Highest points for dahliasColin Evans CupAlison Sealy
Best pot plantDelderfield Challenge TrophyVic Hind
Highest total points for vegetablesFreeman CupJohn Brackley
Best rose exhibitJ A Venning BowlBrian Christie
Best floral arrangementKendal BowlBrian Christie
Best handicraft exhibitKelsall CupPatricia Hill
Highest total points for floral arranementsKime CupLillian Gowing
Best pelargoniums exhibitMoyle CupTracey Phillipps
Collection of vegetablesObserver CupJohn Brackley
Perennials - best exhibitParsons CupCelia Butterfield
Best photo exhibitPinder TrophyPeter Holden
Highest total points for kitchencraftSpecial TrophyAlison Sealy
Best vegetable exhibitSociety TrophyJohn Brackley
Vase of mixed flowersTurner Perpetual Challenge CupBrian Christie

Basic results for this show are available below:

Basic results Autumn 2019

and for all shows are available in the members’ section.

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2019 Outing to RHS Wisley Garden

In September, the Society arranged an outing to RHS Wisley Garden. This was open to members and non-members.

Wisley is the flagship garden of the RHS and one of the UK’s most visited and best-loved gardens, attracting around one million visitors each year. Some 75 garden staff, 25 students, four apprentices and 100 volunteers help make Wisley an amazing experience for visitors.

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Spring Show 2019

The number of entries for this show was disappointing. The Easter holidays meant that key exhibitors were away which resulted in only 169 entries as opposed to 252 in 2018. Particularly disappointing was the low number of exhibits in the Floral Arrangment classes; three normal arrangements and five miniature arrangements

Award Exhibitor
Daffodils & Tulips Dawe Cup Vic Hind
Floral Arrangements Highest Points Pinney Cup Elaine Howe
Kitchencraft Highest Points Special Trophy Alison Sealy
Handicraft Best exhibit Yvonne Gibson Cup Jo Mander

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Autumn Show 2018

The unusual weather of the past few weeks seriously affected many of the floral classes. There were very few dahlias and the quality was not as we have seen in previous years. The decorative entries were also well down. However, the vegetable, domestic, handicraft and photographic classes came to the rescue.


Dahlias Highest Points Colin Evans Cup Alison Sealy
Vegetables Highest Points Freeman Cup John Brackley
Decorative Classes Highest Points Kime Cup Lillian Gowing
Domestic Classes Highest Points Special Trophy Alison Sealy
Mixed Flowers Vase Turner Perpetual Challenge Cup Martin Gowing
Bowl Of Dahlias Varney Trophy Alison Sealy
Best Dahlia Exhibit National Dahlia Society Silver Medal Alison Sealy
Best Fruit Exhibit Clutterbuck Cup Ursula Fahey
Best Vegetable Exhibit The Society Trophy John Brackley
Best Perennials Parsons Cup Andy Rogers
Junior Members Best Exhibit C E Venning Perpetual Challenge Cup Charlotte Sealy

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