The gardening association was formed but we do not no for sure WHEN?. There has been talk that it was in existence in the 1920's but we have no documentary evidence of this. We have a land certificate document dated 28th November 1934 showing the registration of land at the back of the Kingsway Parade, New London Road and the right of way to access it. Title of this land was held by the David Stibbards and transferred in 1956 to new Trustees Messrs Tutt, Pitt,Ely & Benson. In 1974 ownership was again transferred to the currant Trustees Messrs Bunker,Carrington,Heathcote and Quantrill (now deceased). Upon this land a shop was constructed by the then current members with all forms of fertilizers,composts,canes,pots,seeds and many other requirements for the garden, at discounted prices. Sadly with the advent of the growth of Garden Centres, and Supermarkets stocking such a huge range of garden products, the sales in the trading store declined until it was obvious that there was no further demand from members. The store closed in 1998 and is used only for storage of tables used at the horticultural shows. When the Hadleigh Gardening Association was first formed its objectives were stated as,
To hold Horticultural Shows annually, to arrange lectures, to assist and advise members in purchasing plants, seeds, fertilisers and sundries and to purchase the same for resale to members. Also to afford facilities for the exchange of plants and cuttings etc. to arrange and organize parties to visit orchards, nurseries and places of horticultural interest and to provide free or reduced rate tickets to visit national shows and horticultural trials etc, of societies to which the Association is or may be affiliated.
In spite of the passage of time and the changes that have taken place with regard attitude to much smaller gardens now, the current objects of the Association remain broadly in line with the original concept. We still have three well supported horticultural shows, annually, six or so evening lectures incorporating horticultural and more general subjects of current interest. Popular day coach visits are organised to areas of interest throughout the year with an annual "coach holiday" to a different part of the country to enjoy.
DEREK MARTIN PRESIDENT.