Hermitage Horticultural Society & Gardening Club

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If you are just a little interested in gardening or are an experienced or novice gardener. At Hermitage Horticultural Society we welcome everyone.


A brief history of Hermitage Horticultural Society

                        & Gardening Club

Extracts from the past minute books by Roy Marr.

A General meeting was held in the old school (now where 4 new houses have been built) on the 7th March 1921 when it was decided to hold a Summer Show and Fete on Saturday 27th August 1921.

The following officers were elected: -

President : Mrs. Arnold of Hermitage House  

Chairman: Col. West M.D. OBE Wolverton Lodge                                      

Joint Secretaries: W.E. Hunt and A.G. Cheeseman                                                 Committee Messrs: W.E. Boshier, D. Bushell, W. Brown, W.G. Briant, C. Burgess, E. Burgess, W. Barlow, R. Burgess, W. Silvery, J.W. Baden, C. Sharpe, R. Boswell.                                              


The Show was held in a 40ft.x 20ft. Marquee in the grounds of Hermitage House (now Down House School dormitory). Hire cost £3.00; today  this would be about £1000.

The South Berkshire Silver Band carried out 12 performances for £8.00.

Entrance fee to the show and fete was1 shilling (5p) children 4 pence (1.5p). A special prize of a mans shirt for the best garden or allotment over 10 poles.

In 1923 The Cold Ash Band was engaged to play from 6pm to 9-30pm. Luncheon was 2 shillings and 6 pence (12.5p) per head. A charge of 3 pence (1.5p) for dancing in the enclosure. Sideshows included round- a- bouts and bowling  for a pig. Introduction of a children’s class and a bouquet of wild flowers (this would be frowned upon today). Prizes were 3 shillings 2 shillings and 1 shilling with  special prize of 10 shillings (50p)and 5 shillings (25p) for a collection of vegetables, open to residents of Hermitage Marlston and Oare.

In 1931 permission was given by Sir William Alexander to use the grounds of Marlston House (now Brockhurst School). The Marconiphone (similar to a Disco) replaced the band.

The Show ceased to exist from 1933 until 1957.

On October 15th. 1957 a Public meeting was held in the Church Hall (now where 4 new houses have been built) 60 people were present. It was decided to restart the Horticultural Society.

The Following Officers were elected: -

President : Brigadier R. Towell              

Chairman: Mr Edwards                          

Treasurer: Brigadier  C.Colyer            

Joint Secretaries: Mr A. Bell, Mr J Rouse        

Committee: Messrs Mr Grossart, Mr Tuersley, Mr R. E. Burgess                                                            

For a number of years, the Hermitage Horticultural Society held fete and flower shows at Hermitage County School, usually at the end of July, which also included sports events and side shows. Although the Summer Fete has been dropped over the subsequent years the Spring, Summer and Autumn Shows have grown in stature.

There is  now an evening meeting on the 4th Thursday of every month at Hermitage Village Hall on topics ranging from gardening and general interests.  Current membership totals175.

At our A.G.M. in 2013 it was agreed to change our name to Hermitage Horticutural Society and Gardening Club hoping this will encourage more local people to join and enter the shows.

Marlston House Hermitage House Hermitage Village Hall 2


          Old Village Hall.

         Hermitage House.

     Marlston House.

new hall.3

         New Village Hall.