A short history of the Itchen Valley Flower Show.
This report is adapted from an article published in the Itchen Abbas and Avington village news sometime in the late 1990s. The author was not recorded.
On the 13th of August 1949, the Hampshire Chronicle recorded that “the annual garden show of the Itchen Valley Hortcultural Society at Avington Park last week saw an increased entry over last year”. Whether the Itchen Valley Flower Show followed on directly from this event is uncertain, but there is no doubt that the Edmonds family were much involved, with Mrs Margaret Edmonds as Hon Secretary and Treasurer. In 1961 the Committee consisted of three others from Itchen Abbas (Messrs King, Howard and Marsh), two from Easton, one from Martyr Worthy, and (surprisingly) one from Alresford. Until 1966 Olive Porter from Easton was Chairman-
In 1967 the origin of the Rose Bowl for Cookery is of interest. In 1912 the Itchen Abbas Tug of War team won it at the Kingsworthy Horticultural Show, and again the next two years. It passed into the custody of Rev Mugliston, who eventually sent it some 50 years later to the Rev Greenway, the then Rector in lichen Abbas and thence to the Flower Show!
In 1967 Mrs Margaret Edmonds became Chairman, and her Committee were Mrs Haslain, Mrs Nelson, Miss Grant, Mrs Stent, Mrs Earte, Mrs Dee (Hon Sec), Mr Howard, Mr Chalke, Mr King and Mr Marsh. 1969 saw the presentation of the Scatchard Challenge Cup for the Childrens’ Section, PC Scatchard being our local 'village bobby' at that time.
In 1970 it was proposed “that the Committee reserve the right to visit the gardens of exhibitors”! This was further discussed at a second meeting, the rejection of the proposal causing the resignation of one Committee member That same year there were numerous criticisms of the judges!