Bartley Horticultural Society is over 100 years old, and still going strong!
As far as can be ascertained the first Flower Show was started in 1899. Mr H. Martin was the head
gardener for Major Francis Bertram Dalrymple at Bartley Lodge. He approached his employer with
the idea that a flower show would be an added attraction in village life.
Between them they decided
to stage a show in the park at Bartley Lodge. Mr Martin improvised a tent by joining together two
hayrick tarpaulins. Entries were small but it was a beginning.
Later a meeting was called and the
Society was formed with Major Dalrymple as the first President. Credit was given to Mr Martin for
the formation of the Society and he was later made an Honorary Life Member.
Mr C. Cull became
the first Chairman of the Committee with Mr Redford King as Honorary Secretary.
There is an article here from the The Western Gazette from Friday 24th August 1900
Copythorne Flower Show
The Copythorne, Minstead and Netley Marsh Cottagers and Amateurs' Garden Society held their
second annual show in the grounds of Bartley Lodge on Wednesday week. The patroness of the
Society is the Dowager Lady Heathcote, and the President Captain R.C.H. Sloane Stanley, while
Major F.H. Dalrymple is the hon. secretary and treasurer, and he lent his grounds for the occasion.
The show in all respects was a great success. The entries were largely in excess of last year's, being
437 as compared with 330 in 1899. the attractiveness of the exhibition was considerably added to
by the beautiful collection of flowers which were staged by residents of the district, including the
Dowager Lady Heathcote (gardener, Mr D. Logan), Mr John Everett (gardener, Mr C. Cull), Mrs
Duncan (gardener, Mr J. Campbell), Major Dalrymple (gardener, Mr H. Martin) and Captain W.A.
Grant (gardener, Mr C.H. White). The groups were very highly commended by the judges as were
also the collections of roses, fruit and vegetables, sent by Sir William Harcourt M.P. (gardener, Mr
R. Warwick) and fruits and cut flowers shown by Mrs Duncan. Messrs Elcombe and Son of Romsey,
and Mr L. White, also of Romsey, exhibited a fine display of plants and cut flowers, while some
monster marrows were staged by Mr W. Osmond of James Farm, Winsor.Sir William and Lady
Harcourt distributed the prizes. The grounds wereprettily decorated with flags lent by Mr Moore of
Romsey, and Mr Guard of Romsey provided the ropes for the athletic ring. The committee who
made all the arrangements were Major Dalrymple, Messrs Redford King (assistant secretary),
H. Martin, D. Logan, H. Barnes, A. Wort, Gear, Warwick, Wheeler, Campbell, White, F. Soffe
(Minstead), C. Cull, Gurman and M. Norbury. The New Forest Band, under the direction of Mr E.
Bull, discoursed excellent music and played for dancing in the evening. The judges were Messrs B
Ladhams, Shirley; L. King, Lyndhurst; and Buckland, Cufflinells, Lyndhurst...
From the start the Society flourished and aroused considerable interest in the district. Until the
outbreak of World War I it was noted for fine military displays and splendid gymkhanas.
feature was always the consistent high quality of the exhibits of fruit, flowers, vegetables and
homecrafts. Each year the judges paid compliment to this and it was recognised to be one of the
finest shows in the New Forest as detailed in the Southern Daily Echo in August 1907
A New Forest Flower Show
The annual show of the Copythorne, Minstead, and Netley Marsh Horticultural and Industrial
Society, of which Captain R.C.H. Sloane Stanley, J.P., of Paultons, is the President, was held at
Beechwood park, by kind permission of Colonel G.C. Heathcote, J.P. and was a great success, both
with regard to the nature of the show and also as to the attendance, both being quite equal to any
previous year, the fine weather being a gratifying contrast to what was experienced in 1906, when
heavy rain marred in a great measure the success of that show.
Classes now included Gentlemen's and Tenant Farmers' Dairies (butter, eggs, poultry) and special
classes for the neatest and best cultivated cottage garden, wild flowers and grasses, honey and the
largest collection of queen wasps. The Industrial class was for school children and included best
dressed doll, pinafore, sampler, knitting and drawing.
No shows were held during either of the wars but interest never waned. On each occasion no time
was lost in reviving this popular annual event. Major Sloane-Stanley of Paultons was also a Society
President and ardent supporter for many years, followed by his daughter Mrs John Everett. The
number of exhibits in horticultural classes have at times exceeded seven hundred with well over one
hundred entries for the gymkhana.
During the 1950s Mr Cyril Haysom became Chairman supported by an enthusiastic Committee.
Major C. B. Hibbert D.S.O. M.C. was Honorary Treasurer, succeeded by Mr Hubert Thomas of
Ower. The show was held at Bartley Lodge Park now by kind permission of Captain P. H. Dodgson.
The Honorary Secretary was Mr Cyril Harrison of Lyndhurst. He was recognised as a valuable
addition to the Society's officers for setting his heart to the colossal task with such determination.