The Present Club
The present club was formed in 1978 under the leadership of Harry Dawes and was originally named The Sturminster Newton Horticultural Society. Harry was the hon. secretary for 24 years until 2002.
The society was based at the Village Hall in Brinsley Close, where all meetings and shows were held, until July 2007, when we moved to the Exchange on Old Market Hill.
The Club has the distinction of being the first group to use the new hall when it held its annual Summer Flower Show on Wednesday July 25th that year in the Atrium.
In 2010 it was agreed by the committee that in order to try and attract more members and to be seen as a friendly group, that the name be changed to Sturminster Newton Garden Club. It was believed that this name implies a group which is more in tune with a lighter-hearted approach to gardening, rather than being academic.
The history of Horticultural societies in Sturminster goes back to the Victorian era. From reports in the Western Gazette, the first Society to be formed in Sturminster Newton was in or about 1870. Little is known about this group. save what was written in a newspaper article dated 2nd September 1870. At this time the society encompassed the town of Sturminster Newton together with the villages of Hinton, Child Okeford, Manston, Shillingstone, Lydlinch, Hazelbury bryan, Marnhull, Fifehead Neville and Hammoon. A Show in this year was held in a tent belonging to a Mr Ball.
After this, there is no mention of a society until 1932, when numerous reports were written in the same newspaper. The Society was suspended at the start of WWII and it was not until January 1978 that it was ressurrected by Harry Dawes (the son of Harry Dawes Senior, who started the society in the 1930's.)
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