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Produce Association

LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

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 HOW IT ALL BEGANArchives3

Whitford & District Produce & Sports Association

From various sources it seems that the Association was first formed as a Sports Day around 1935 and originally held in the field behind Park View at Seaton Junction and  was a very competitive Sports programme for adults and children.

The day was a major event for the community and was looked forward to throughout the year. It was extremely well supported by local towns and villages, many travelling from Seaton by train to Seaton Junction. (This was before the days of the Beecham cuts!!).

The Flower and Produce show came about from the gathering of adults at the sports day.  They organised the Silver Cup prizes, all by donations, and the Produce show day merged with the sports day.  All the funds to put on the show were from donations or fund raising, which is still the same today.

All activities ceased during the war years and the Silver Cups, that we still use today, were put into Lloyds Bank for safe-keeping.

We have records going back as far as 1947, showing that many local families, such as the Gardner’s and Loud’s were as active on the committee then as they are today. Other local families, such as the Gillingham’s, have been exhibiting since the show began.

The Summer Show was, and still is, the main event of the association.  In 1949, two marquees were used as the number of entries was over 1860!!!

1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes were 4, 3 and 2 shillings [conversion 20 shillings = £1 until decimalisation in 1971]. These were valuable prizes and competition was high (a man’s wages was between £2 and £4 a week).)

The children’s races were also very competitive, with the top prize being £1 for the mile race for both running and cycling.

There were also many events for ‘ladies and gentlemen’ such as pillow fights, obstacle races and a tug of war competition with a prize of 24 shillings.

There were so many races that they ran on throughout the afternoon.

Exhibition stands such as large agricultural machinery and fairground amusements including swing boats took centre place in the field.

The day was rounded off with a Grand Dance.  The tradition of a dance and supper after the show was continued to the late 70’s. The ladies of the committee provided all the refreshments.

 Archives2Archives1

                                                       

             Some photos of cup winners,

                 dates unknown.

 


AND THE PRESENT

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HOW IT IS NOW

I am pleased to say that I have survived my first year as Chairman. With the great support of the committee and the many unsung willing helpers, without whom we could not have managed, the year was extremely successful.

The year started with a very interesting talk from the RNLI, followed by our annual Plant Sale which was very well attended. With the support of the local market gardens we had a fine range of plants to sell. We also had a delicious array of homemade cakes which were too tempting not to buy.

We were all really concerned about the weather conditions for the Summer Show but fortunately the sun shone for us and we had a delightful day. We were pleased to have Anne Swithinbank open the show, and were entertained once again by the Chard band.

The judges were most impressed with the standard of vegetables and flowers on show, especially considering the amount of rain that we had been having,  WeIMG_3336 were delighted with the high numbers of entries, many of whom were new to showing. This year we had more side shows and events and the afternoon was enjoyed by all who came.

The last event of the year was the Autumn Show, which included a lovely showing of autumnal plants, flowers and floral displays. The children’s section was delightful and extremely well supported and the cup winners were well deserved.

I would like to say a very big ‘Thank you’ to all the exhibitors for last year’s show and to everyone who helped and supported us in anyway throughout the year which is greatly appreciated by all the committee.

Maureen Davey

Chairman