Thursday, 13 September 2012

Messines Park Flower Show

Yesterday was a sort through and chuck out day. Among the items which I came upon were several prize cards from Messines Park British Legion Annual Flower Show going back to September 1970 The prefix, "Royal," was not added until 1971 at the time of the Legion's golden anniversary.

During my teenage years and younger I entered vegetables and sometimes potplants in most of the horticultural shows in the north west. One of the shows in the circuit was that at Messines Park. The entry fee per exhibit was six pence and the prizes were five shillings for first prize; three shillings for second and two shillings for third. A fortune for a schoolboy!

I think that 1970 must have been the last show at Messines, I certainly don't have any prize cards or show schedules postdating that year. The housing at Messines Park was  erected to provide affordable housing for ex servicemen after the first world war and even in the 1960's and early 1970's many of the houses were still occupied by ex servicemen and their families. The gardens were quite large and that probably prompted the establishment of the show.

I don't remember very much about the hall save that it was long and quite narrow and of a wooden construction. It was below the level of the road and you went down several stone steps to get to it. It was destroyed in the early years of the, "Troubles," and was never rebuilt.

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