As the society began with a flower show I decided to see what I could find out about Victorian flower shows. As it all began with a clergyman I wondered if organising flower shows was common practice within the church of England. So I searched through the Church Times archives from 1865 to 1895. There … Continue reading Victorian Flower Shows
I also wondered, as the local curate started it all, if there were any church records about the beginning of NSHS. So, by a circuitous route via Crockfords Clerical Directory, St Michael`s Wigan and St David`s Haigh, I managed to contact the treasurer from St John`s. He said the only thing he could help me … Continue reading Church Records
The 1883 balance sheet shows they spent 3 shillings on stationary and postage so I thought there may have been some correspondence with the Haigh Estate. Or there may even have been some earlier correspondence between Rev. James and the Earl or Countess about the beginning of the society or about them coming to the … Continue reading NSHS further enquiries – Library of Scotland
The next step was to view the balance sheet from the Haigh Estate records held by the Wigan Archives. This turned out to be a small piece of account paper, torn around the edges in a poly pocket for protection. The account consisted of a list of receipts and expenditure, and it was signed by … Continue reading NSHS Balance Sheet 1883
I decided to see if I could find out who the people mentioned in these newspaper reports were. I did some “googling” and discovered two useful sources of information. One was Wigan World, a website with all sorts of interesting stuff about Wigan and its history. The other was the index of the Haigh Estate … Continue reading Not a grass roots movement
The 1879 report gave much more detail about the society which supported what I had been thinking and told me more about the people involved : “The idea of establishing a floral society in the midst of the busy mining population of New Springs originated about 2 years ago with the Rev. C.H. James, the … Continue reading New Springs Floral Society – Second Annual Show of Window Plants 1879.
If the 1884 newspaper report was accurate and that was the seventh annual show, then the first show would have been in 1878. I decided to trawl through the Wigan Observer of previous years. I thought it wouldn`t be too long a process as the show would most likely have taken place in July or … Continue reading New Springs Floral Society – First Annual Show of Window Plants 1878.
My next step was to look at the reports in the Wigan Observer for the years 1882 and 1884. The 1882 report was entitled New Springs Flower Show. It said that the show compared favourably with those of previous years, suggesting that the allotments were there before 1882. “There was a splendid collection of flowers … Continue reading 1882,1884 shows – newspaper reports
New Springs Horticultural Society (NSHS) allotment gardens were definitely there in 1912, but I wanted to know when they started, whose idea it was and why? Who were the early plotholders? If the land was rented from the Earl of Crawford there must have been a rental agreement and I wondered if it had survived … Continue reading 1912, 1913 shows – newspaper reports
I knew very little about the history of the Society, but I thought it was probably closely associated with mining. New Springs is an old mining community, on the edge of the Haigh Hall estate, which had belonged to the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, and is now owned by Wigan Council. The allotments are … Continue reading Minutes of the 1912 show