The earliest written record of the Hempstead & District Gardening Club (H&DGC) is 1965 when the first Annual Show was held in the pub. The third year shows the first record of an awarded trophy, being the Thesiger Rose Bowl. A full record of our cups and winners over the years is also on these pages. In recent history the Club was chaired by Don Feaver for 10 years until 2002, then by Diana Frost until 2016. It was then decided its activities should cease for the time being. There was no one to come forward as Chairman and it was accepted that lifestyles change and that there are different competing priorities and demands on people’s time. There remain, however, many in the village who are interested in gardening and some of them from time to time form a group to visit local gardens.
When active, the Club focused on a few major events in the year and helped with the upkeep of Hempstead as a lovely place for us all to live. We still do the latter as individual volunteers. The Club has also been able to make generous donations to other village projects.
A typical year consisted of a Dinner at The Bluebell Inn, the AGM, a Spring talk, a Spring plant sale, a garden visit in June or September, the Annual Flower & Veg Show in July (with plenty of silverware to be won) and the Autumn Show in October.
We were also associated with the Horse & Pony Show which takes place in July at Hill Farm, Hempstead and this event continues. Delightfully it has now expanded and also has a Dog Show and child-friendly activities.
It would be lovely to think that someone will one day revive this Club and re-create the fun that was shared by many villagers. We live in hope!