"The Upminster Horticultural Society, embracing Cranham and North Ockendon has recently been formed to encourage residents in these parishes to take an increased interest in horticulture...." so said the Essex Times of Wednesday September 18th 1907. The Society had held a "Cottage Show" on Saturday September 13th 1907.
The Essex Times reported that there were upward of 100 entries, which were of a high order and the reporter expressed his view that "...the Society has come to stay." He goes on to say that "Mr Tyler's exhibit of cut and pot dahlias baffles description" and "Mr Reg Low's collection of sweet peas was unique".
This metamorphosed into The Upminster and District Horticultural Society the following year. It began its life as a society with an Annual Show and Sports Day held in July. It was one of the major activities in the village of Upminster with its population of about 1500 people. The show was usually held on the Cricket Ground that is now part of Upminster Junior and Infants School.
The Society continued to hold its Annual Show until the First World War but resumed in the July of 1919. It ceased to be in 1924 but returned once more in 1934 combined with the Hornchurch Horticultural Society. Once more war interrupted its existence but in 1945 it rose again but this time separate from Hornchurch.
A fuller version of its history can be read in 'The Upminster and District Horticultural Society - a Brief Account of its One Hundred Year History' (a 32 page booklet) available from the Society priced £1 for members and £1.50 for non-members.
Despite having over 600 members, we no longer have enough support to run any flower shows and, as a consequence, our 'Silverware' is now housed in the Havering Museum.