Brixham Horticultural Society was set up as an allotments and garden association to encourage and help the local people to DIG FOR VICTORY. In 1941 shipping convoys were being sunk by German U-Boats causing serious food shortages in Britain. People were encouraged to use public open spaces to grow vegetable as a Civic Duty. Brixham was, as it still is, very conscious of a sense of duty and the Society was set up to help each other.
The first recorded meeting was on the 6th February 1941, with over 50 allotment holders at the meeting. A local charity offered plots of land and a shovel to anyone wanting to join the battle. The first “Victory Garden Show” was held in September 1941 with 32 different classes and about 200 entries, at the end of the show they auctioned off the flowers and produce and raised £56 for the Red Cross Agricultural Fund – not a small amount of money in those days and times.
The Society went from strength to strength managing to stage 2 shows a year. In 1947 they raised £225 for the Red Cross Fund. There were over 300 members, although not all actively attended meetings. Agatha Christie used to be a member and exhibited regularly. In 1979, 20 years after they had sent out the invitation to the BBC, Gardeners Question Time was broadcast from Brixham on Radio 4. When the committee was looking forward to how they should celebrate their birthday our chairman wrote to the BBC again to ask them to come to Brixham again. They were unable to come in the anniversary year but came in 2012 and it nearly filled the Brixham Theatre, everyone who attended enjoyed the recording and had the advantage of listening to two separate broadcasts one from Brixham and one from South Devon.
During the 1980’s and 90’s membership dropped, but it is recovering again and has an enthusiastic membership core. In 2012 we welcomed members of the Brixham Fuchsia and Geranium Society into our Society when their numbers declined. What ever your specialist area is we look forward to welcoming you to our meetings.