Posts Tagged ‘horticulture’

Trowbridge, Melksham and District Agricultural Show

July 7, 2014

Another acquisition from the closing museum at Lackham was a catalogue for the Trowbridge Melksham and District Agricultural Show which took place on Wednesday May 26th 1954 – just over 60 years ago.

Front cover of 1954 Trowbridge, melksham and District Agricultural Show catalogue

Front cover of 1954 Trowbridge, melksham and District Agricultural Show catalogue

Of particular interest to us at Market Lavington was the advert on the inside of the front cover.

Advert for Wordley and Co of Market Lavington

Advert for Wordley and Co of Market Lavington

Yes, this was from our very own firm, of A. S. Wordley and Co who were based in the Market Place in the village.

We have already seen on this blog photos of Wordley’s stand at this show, from other years in the early fifties (click here).

But these catalogues also give some other ideas of what went on in our villages, by seeing who was exhibiting what.

First we note that Mrs N R Harmsworth of Kestrels in Easterton was showing flowers. She was one of seven competitors who had tried for the ‘best geranium in pot’ class. She was also going for the best flowering plant of any variety, the best vase of cut flowers arranged for effect, and the best vase of three bearded iris.

Mrs Harmsworth also showed vegetables – the best three cabbages, the best three lettuces, the best six carrots, the best 12 strawberries and the best collection of vegetables – four varieties.

D E Alexander of Southcliffe Farm was showing pigs. He had entered two large white sows. One was called Southcliffe Beautiful and she had been born on 20th October 1952. The other was Southcliffe Beryl 2nd, born 17th December 1952.

Mr Alexander had also entered the best two pork pigs, any breed or cross and the best two pigs suitable for Wiltshire bacon. He also showed in the two carcasses most suitable for Wiltshire bacon class.

We have here yet another period document from a past age with plenty of local information.

Banksian Medals

September 30, 2013

 

The Royal Horticultural Society issue Banksian medals to worthy horticulturalists. One is awarded each year to the person who gets most points in the local show’s horticulture classes – the fruit, flowers and vegetables. This means there is nothing particularly rare about them.

But one of them, in the museum, was awarded to James Lye, the Market Lavington and Easterton based fuchsia breeder. That one is special to us at Market Lavington Museum.

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

One side has a profile of the man the medal is named after – Joseph Banks. We can’t do justice to Joseph here. He was a top botanist of his day, was on Cook’s first voyage of discovery and is very much numbered amongst the great and the good.

The other side of the medal (more like a crown sized coin) is engraved with the winner’s name and the reason for the award.

 

The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

I wonder if James was annoyed that the engraver got the spelling of Fuchsias wrong!

In 1878 when this medal was awarded, James was the gardener at Clyffe Hall for Louisa Hay.

The other day our curator met Kristopher Harper who holds the National Fuchsia Collection and is actively involved in researching everything to do with James Lye. Kristopher hopes to trial some fuchsia growing at Clyffe Hall to test his theory that James Lye cultivars were fairly hardy plants that could survive the winter. That will be interesting to report on.

But as this post is really about Banksian medals, let’s see a recent one – not in the museum – as issued to a flower show winner.

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Well, it isn’t the same material, but no real change in design.

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It looks as though the engraving is not as classy these days – but the spelling is correct.