St Andrews

History

The birth of the Association happened at a meeting on the 16th. September 1833. (Minutes from many early meetings are deposited in the University archives). It was named the St Andrews and District Horticultural and Floricultural Association. There is no written information as to who the founder members were but at the AGM in 1867 the officials were: Patron; Provost Walter Milne, President; Dr George Lees, Vice President; Mr Alex Reid and Secretary; Mr David Fletcher. This and subsequent meetings revised existing rules and drew up new ones. These also covered shows, including classes for entries, prizes and other arrangements for the annual show which was held in August. The Association had three classes of membership: professionals, amateurs and cottagers. These classifications have varying subscription rates, professionals and amateurs set at 3s 0p with cottagers1s 0p.Early shows were held at different venues including the “New “ Town Hall, the Rink and the Recreation Hall. On the day of the Summer Show a sports day was also held. The day included performances from either a Mixed or Brass Band accompanied by dancers.The festivities lasted well into the night with a licensed dance for those attending. Local dignitaries including M Ps traditionally opened the shows. By 1893 however the Association had to be wound up temporarily due to lack of active members.

St Andrews Gardeners St Andrews Gardeners St Andrews Gardeners

In 1906 some 13 years later a meeting was convened in the Town Hall at the proposal of Mr John Balsille (treasurer of the old Association). At this meeting  a new Association was formed and it was agreed it should be named the St Andrews and District Horticultural Association. Rules from," the other Society off 1893" were to be used as a starting point. The membership fee should be 1s 6p.for all members. In March 1918 a meeting was held in the town when a new Association was formed and this carried the name of the St Andrews and District Allotment Association. When Mr D B Stevenson was Secretary of both Associations they merged some time in 1922 to become the St Andrews Allotment and Horticultural Association. The 1932  Summer Show, in the Associations centenary year was held in Madras College south street.The Association must have been well supported around this time as at the 1935 show,10,000 blooms were recorded as being exhibited.

After the second world war the Association resumed its activities and continued to prosper. The annual Summer Show now became a two-day event in 1947 and was held in the Boys Brigade Hall which had opened back in 1899.  This was the first show to be held on the south side of the Kinness burn to reflect the towns expansion. The Festival of Britain year 1951 saw the annual Summer Show held in the Volunteer Hall with 800 exhibits. In 1949 Mr C McDermot was elected Secretary and he held the post until 1962. The committee with many members who were associated with St Andrews University and the Botanical Gardens were now arranging open lectures with well know horticultural experts for the members and the general public. In 1983 to celebrate the 150 years of its existence of the Association decided to hold a Spring Show for the first time with the Victory Memorial Hall as the venue. This was such a success that it is still held each year and is now the only Spring Show still held in Fife. In 2000 the decision was taken to end the Autumn Show due to decreasing exhibits and increasing costs, also the Summer Show now became a one day event. It is usually held on the last Saturday in September in the Town Hall Queens Gardens. 2010 saw the death of Mr Henry (Harry) Anquetil its longest serving member [63 years]. Harry joined the Association in 1947 after leaving the RAF to take up employment as a gardener with the University. A prolific exhibitor over the years, he also served as Chairman and Show Manager. Fittingly in the year of his death he was the President. The Association at a Special Meeting held on the 18th March 2004 under the then Chairman Dr. David King, changed its name to St Andrews Gardeners Club. On the 3rd of December 2014 at the AGM it was decided to change the name to St Andrews and District Horticultural Association and Gardening Club. At the AGM in November 2016 it was decided to change the name back to St Andrews Gardeners Club.

 

Summer show Schedule

Spring Show Entry Form

Summer Show Entry Form