As might be expected, the Flower Show could not function without a committee. These extracts from the minutes of meetings held over the years show how fortunate we are that the Show has continued.
In 1922 the committee, under the chairmanship of Captain Stewart-Liberty, raised the question of the Flower Show being self-financing rather than being funded by public subscription as in earlier years.
In April 1932 the committee, now under the chairmanship of Captain Cummins, reported that the Flower Show was still not self-sufficient, and that a Whist Drive had been held in February to clear the previous year’s deficit.
At this time the future of the Flower Show was brought into question as there was to be no Sunday Schools’ Fête that year; the committee voted by 9 to 8 to continue with the Flower Show.
Things could have been so different in the following years had just one more person voted against…
The following month it was agreed, after much discussion, to hold the Flower Show in the Manor Park – its home to this day.
The question of whether or not to hold a show arose again in 1947, when the show had not been held for several years due to World War II.
Highlights of the main points from many of the first half century’s meetings are shown below.
|Year||Event||Extracts/Information/Observations from Committee Meeting Minutes|
|1908||The-Lee Sunday Schools Fete||Blindfolded Walking Races – once round the track.|
|1912||The-Lee Sunday Schools Fete||Boot & Tub Race for boys. Backward Walking Race for the Officials.|
|1914||The-Lee Sunday Schools Fete||Racket and Ball Race, Three-Legged race.|
|1922||The-Lee Sunday Schools Fete||Flower Show mentioned in programme. Admission to tent 6d for adults, Children wearing school colours free, other children half price. Wasp Collecting Competition deleted from schedule. Amateur defined as “a person who does not keep a regular gardener”. Exhibitors asked whether they would be prepared to sell their exhibit for the benefit of show funds – £1 17s raised. Post show accounts show a balance in hand of £3 13s 3d. Entrance fees £1 16s 2d. Donations £50 15s 9d. Marquee hire £16. Prize Money £22 15s|
|1923||||Flower Show to be run on self supporting lines.|
|1924||||New class “A shilling dinner for the working man” suggested but not adopted|
|1925||||Balance on account after show £1 2s 5d|
|1927||||Balance on account after show £1 18s 8d later increased to £2 13s 7d|
|1928||The-Lee Flower Show||Notices of new rule in tent “Staging in all classes is done by officials and no exhibitors to be allowed in the tent whilst Judging in progress. This rule still applies. Cup for The Cottage Class purchased at a cost of £5 11s 8d. This was funded by £3 3s promised and the remainder by a contribution of 2/6 (2s 6d) by each commitee member. A case for the cup was commissioned and it was agreed if there were any surplus funds that these be used to have the cup engraved from time to time. Show estimated to have generated a balance in hand of £5 10s with the Cup having a deficit of £1. The final balance turned out to be £1 11s 5d.|
|1929||The-Lee Flower Show||Prize money was replaced with certificates and the money that would have been given in prizes was redirected to the Church and School Lighting and Repair Fund. A small show was held in the Autumn for vegetables ‘not mature’ in July. Flower Show funds in deficit over £4.|
1930 – 1950
|Year||Event||Extracts/Information/Observations from Committee Meeting Minutes|
|1930||The-Lee Sunday Schools Fete||403 entries of which 74 by children. This was ‘considered satisfactory’. Show funds were 10s 11d. This was considered ‘most satisfactory’ in view of the deficit in the previous year.|
|1931||The-Lee Flower Show||In the honey class, prizes only to be awarded for ‘run out’ honey, not for light and medium honey nor honeycomb. No prizes for Swan Bottom or Potter Row allotments. Show expenses exceeded income by £3 10s as subscriptions down by £4 6s 6d and additional expenditure of £2 15s 6d incurred due to new prize labels and entry labels.|
|1932||The-Lee Flower Show||£5 honorarium suggested for secretary reduced to £3 in view of show’s financial state. Suggestions for addressing fund deficit were: Whist evening, reduction in size of marquee, increase in entry money, elimination or reduction of gratuities to judges. Whist Drive agreed and marquee reduced in width by 10 feet saving £2 10s. Whist evening raised £3 7s 2d clearing the 1931 show deficit. Sunday Schools Fete cancelled therefore a discussion and vote took place on whether to postpone the show and revive it at some future date. For postponing the show – 8; For holding the show in some form – 9. Consideration given to holding show in Lee Common schools to save hire cost of a marquee and to hold show on a Saturday rather than Wednesday (the usual day). Cost of holding show in the schools would be £1 1s (a guinea) plus 7s 6d for cleaning. Decision to hold show in Lee Manor Park on Saturday. Explore possibilty of Cricket Match with Liberty & Co. Arranged for Saturday 23rd July 1932. “Loud-Speaker” engaged for broadcasting dance music in the evening, and for playing in the afternoon at a cost of £3 3s. Show accounts revealed the show produced a balance of 4s 4d|
|1933||The-Lee Flower Show||Show produced a balance of 2s 6d. Cricket match played v Liberty & Co. Show secretary honorarium reduced to £2.|
|1934||The-Lee Flower Show||Show date 21st July. Cricket team from Liberty & Co unable to attend. Proposal re the show area be extended to include part of South Heath from the crossroads at Potter Row to the cross roads at Ballinger thus joining up two ends of the district already in the area of the show. The council houses at South Heath to be included. Final agreement was “Cottagers’ Classes – open to cottagers living in The-Lee parish, Ballinger, Potter Row, South Heath Council cottages, and in cottages with frontages to the road between South Heath Council cottages and Ballinger. Open Classes for all residents in The-Lee parish, Ballinger, Potter Row, South Heath Council Cottages and in properties with frontages to the road between South Heath Council cottages and Ballinger.” (Committee meeting 19th March 1934). Change in the provision of teas as ladies “undertaking this voluntary work meant loss of enjoyment for those helping with the tea.” Mr Darvell was prepared to do the catering for a public tea and for light refreshments. Children attending Lee Common School were given a voucher for 4d “entitling them to goods to this value from Mr Darvell.” (Committee mmeting 23rd April 1934). Income from the show was “sufficient …to pay all accounts with the exception of secretary’s salary”. a whist evening was proposed and, if sufficient funds were raised, the secretary’s salary would be paid. It was successful with a favourable balance of 14s 3d.|
|1935||The-Lee Flower Show||Decision not to engage the loud-speaking apparatus. Captain Stewart-Liberty had kindly offered to be responsible for providing music for the day. (Meeting 11th February 1935). Show funds balance was 1s 10d (Meeting 17th March 1936).|
|1936||The-Lee Flower Show||Show date Saturday 18th July. Suggestions at meeting on 17th March 1936 were: Show to be held in the Park; engagement of a brass band to be considered; there to be no dance in the evening of the show; class 18 Pot Plant to have been grown in pot, not to have been lifted just for the show. Cricket match between The Lee and Mr Cummins XI. Mr Darvell requested to bring own tent for teas so that the show could reduce size of tent from 100ft x 30ft to 75ft x 30ft (meeting 27th April 1936). Mr Darvell agreed (minutes 9th July 1936) and therefore show tent reduced in size with new cost of £9 rather than £10. Mrs Dowcra distributed the prizes. Show balance £2 8s 6d (AGM 11th March 1937)|
|1937||The-Lee Flower Show||At the AGM 11th March 1937 it was suggested ‘to institute sideshows for the benefit of funds’. It was agreed (meeting 12th April 1937) to change the children’s Queen Wasp class to White (Cabbage) Butterflies. Show balance was £1 0s 6d (AGM Friday 20th May 1938).|
|1938||The-Lee Flower Show||Show to be held on Thursday 21st July as a British Legion outing had been arranged for Saturday 23rd and the following Saturday the Park would be occupied by a Girl Guides Camp. Also decided “not to hold Committee meetings on Monday nights, so as not to clash with Benefit Club collection nights.” Show date was eventually agreed for Saturday 23rd as the original suggestion of Thursday 21st July clashed with the Chesham Hospital Fete. However due to the British Legion outing teams for the Tug o War “would not be forthcoming.” The Tug o War was “therefore arranged for Monday 25th July at 8 p.m. on the Village Green” (Meeting 18th July 1938). Marquee supplied by Young & Co cost £7. Show funds in balance with £2 18s 7d although the secretary had not received her £3 annual payment. The eventual accounts showed a breakeven (Meeting 31st October 1938). It was identified that the cups were not insured and that the 1939 show would take place on Saturday 22 July. Committee members who were members of the British Legion asked to communicate this to the BL and secretary asked to advise Ballinger Flower Show secretary.|
|1939||The-Lee Flower Show||The Cottager’s Cup was valued at £10 and insured against All Risks for 3s (minutes April 25th 1939). Instead of a “cricket match and little races for children as the attraction of the afternoon it was decided to arrange and carry out a Sports Programme and to have various side-shows such as Bowling for a Pig, Darts etc”. Young & Co quoted £7 for a 60ft x 30ft marquee and use of a tug-o-war rope. Mr Darvell offered a 66ft x 30 ft marquee for £6 15s and ‘in view of the fact that Darvells do the catering without guarantee it was decided to accept their offer”. It was also agreed that the schedules and programmes would be distributed house to house (Minutes 1st June 1939). Entries for the 1939 show were confirmed as “314 compared to 279 in 1938 from 79 exhibitors compared for 92 in 1938” (Meeting 17th July 1939). Statement of account showed balance in hand of £15 2s 5d (Minutes July 31st 1939).|
|1940 – 46||No show due to World War II||Meeting 15th April 1940 ‘The question as to whether or not a Show should be held this year was fully discussed and the general feeling of the meeting was that it would be nice to have a show if at all practical and as a decision would largely be effected by the money likely to be available…” Meeting held on 7th May 1940 (3 days before Germany invaded France and the low Countries) it was estimated that ere would be a show deficit of £2 17s that year. At a meeting on 21st May 1940 everything was going ahead for the show. “It was agreed that the Chesham band be engaged; that Mr Wilson of “The Cock & Rabbit” be invited to cater for teas in the Guild Room….that the committee meet again on Tuesday July 2nd” At a meeting on 17th June 1940 “In view of existing war condidtions, whether to hold the Show was discussed at length and finally, on the proposal of Miss Bignall seconded by Mr W A Holland, it was agreed that it be abandoned for this year” The next show did not take place until 1947.|
|1947||The Lee Flower Show||A well attended public meeting on 5th May 1947 decided to revive the show with a “show of hands”. Mr Alfred Humphreys “agreed to explore the possibilityof having beer in the Park” (Meeting 12th May 1947). Mr W A Holland amd Mr Humphreys had seen a tent, of a size suitable for the Flower Show, erected for the British Legion Fete at Great Missenden by Messrs Marks (Aylesbury). The price would be rather less than quoted by Messrs. Young (previous suppliers)” (Meeting 12th May 1947). Darvells unable to cater for teas and were replaced by Messrs Dickinson Rose. Marks of Aylesbury supply Marquee for £15 10s. Two recipes were supplied by E J Spalton, Organiser of Domestic Subjects at Bucks County Education Committee. Show held on Saturday 6th September. Show generated a balance of £20.|
|1948||The Lee Flower Show||Show held Saturday 24th July 1948. Bob Gerhardi asked if “would kindly loan and work his Loud Speaker Van”. Marquee 100ft x 30ft cost £16 from Marks of Aylesbury. Mr Humphreys charged with obtaining a “Pig for Bowling and Mr Mann be asked if he would kindly a cockerel for Ladies Bowling” (Meeting April 5th 1948). The show balance was £20 2s 9d.|
|1949||The Lee Flower Show||Marquee cost £16 for 100ft x 30ft. Fortune Teller L. G. King ill and unable to attend|
|1950||The Lee Flower Show||Tug o War age limit restricted to 22 years old. Mr Humphreys agreed to obtain as many cigarettes as prizes. Show accounts had £18 balance in bank after the show. Donation of £5 to The Sports Club and £2 to The Guild.|
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