The Malborough with South Huish Horticultural Society was founded in 1923 by Mr George Vereker, the first show being held on Thursday 25th October of that year.
In 1926, after the founder had died, the society purchased its first perpetual silver cup, appropriately named The Vereker Cup which was presented to the best all round exhibitor living in the parish and gaining the most points in the show. On examining the inscriptions on The Vereker Cup, a few gaps arose, and on further scrutiny of the various minute books it discovered why.
The first omission was in 1932. An outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the South Hams had forced the society to abandon the show for fear of spreading the disease, as in those days the show involved livestock.
On 4th September 1939 a committee meeting was held and the secretary recorded this minute: "With the outbreak of war and the restrictions the Government has placed on Horticultural Shows and entertainment the society must be temporarily cancelled". Thankfully, the show was soon back in force after the war and the advertisement in the local paper for the 1946 show read "LETS DIG FOR VICTORY". Included in minutes for 1965 and 1968 were reports that the show had again been cancelled, but this time due to extreme storms which blew the marquee down!.
In 1955 the Society took the very bold step of changing the show day to a Saturday and the show has been carried on in this vein ever since.
The classes in which exhibitors can compete are vegetables, flowers, handicrafts, photography, preserves, cookery, wines, fruit, floral art and junior classes.
This Society has reached many milestones, which have been celebrated in style. To mention a few; the Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee and Platinum Jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabet II with celebrity guests such as Rene Wyndham, Carole Madge, Alison Johns and the famous Gus Honeybun, the hopping, winking bunny rabbit, which brought joy to hundreds of children. Our 70th Anniversary Exhibition was coupled with the rejoicing of The Golden Jubilee of Her late Majesty The Queen and marked the passing of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
In the Millennium year 2000 the society instigated a "Best Garden" competition and a beautiful piece of engraved glassware was presented to the Society by the President for that year, Michael Pleass. This trophy is now awarded to the best “large” garden and in 2014 Mrs Pat Wood presented another glass trophy for the best “small” garden.
At the 75th Anniversary the committee elected its Secretary and Treasurer Keith Steer as its President. A celebratory luncheon was held in a marquee on the village playing fields but was also overshadowed by the theft, on the day, of all the floats and prizemoney.
Sadly, we had no choice but to cancel the show in 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The committee are very small in number and work extremely hard to raise the necessary finance at luncheons in the village hall. They strive to provide the local community with an interesting and entertaining afternoon out. The committee are:
- Chairman elect: David Darke,
- Vice Chairman: Caroline Cuming,
- Secretary and Treasurer: Keith Steer,
- Committee members: Carol Narramore, Sue Hosking, Clive Parsons, John Cole and Luis Hernaiz.
We also truly owe a great debt of gratitude to all our Vice Presidents, who support the Society, financially, every year.
Finally, we returned to showing in 2022 and held our 88th Annual Autumn Exhibition on 10th September and if you require any further details please contact the Secretary at:
“Fairwinds”, 2 Collaton Road, Malborough, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 3RJ -