The National Begonia Society



21st. September  2017
The National Begonia Society has launched a new Facebook page, administered by Phil Champion.
To access, you need to join Facebook, setting up an account, use Google, type in The National  Society. If you are already a member of Face Book, you only need to type in The National Begonia Society. Then request to join. Phil Champion will do the rest.
                                                                                                                                                                       Ian Rhys Williams

11th. April  2017
Ralph Trinder

It was very sad to have heard about the loss of our much loved friend Ralph Trinder.

Ralph was a larger than life character within The National Begonia Society. He always greeted friends with a big ''Hello there'' deep loud Welsh voice. He was well know throughout the country and visited Ayr Flower Show, Portchester, Harrogate, Bideford, The National and of course The South Wales Area Shows yearly.
Dorothy fondly named Ralph- Trotter Trinder, as he travelled everywhere following the Begonia Shows from North to South of the country.

Our heart felt sympathy is extended to all Ralph's family. He will be surely missed by all.Ralph's funeral will be on Thursday, 20th; April, at Bethesda Chapel opposite Ralph's house at  noon, 2, Bethesda Place, Rogerston, Newport, NP10 9FF.

                                                                                                                                                                       Ian Rhys Williams.

APRIL 3rd.   2017

On Sunday I was advised that my old friend Ralph had died the night before. Those that have known him will know that he suffered a stroke some 3 years ago and was in a care home. Ralph continued to be a member and was regularly visited by our South Wales members.
 Ralph was a good friend of  mine for a good many years, he often rang me to ask for advise and just to tell me how wonderful life was. I have missed our conversations since his stroke and his singing Welsh voice, but continued to ask about his welfare. Ralph was one of the keenest growers in the NBS and regularly exhibited at our shows. He introduced Daisy Trinder as a seedling. However I will remember Ralph best for his enthusiasm and good humour. The condolences of the whole society go out to his family.
 I am sure we will all miss him.

 Bob Bryce NBS Secretary

FEBRUARY 14th. 2017

I heard this morning that Margaret Owen wife of Derek had passed away peacefully yesterday. Derek has always been a keen member  of the NBS putting up wonderful displays with the late Ken Gallagher at Shrewsbury. They were winners of the best exhibit in the trade tent on more than one occasion. Margaret was always to be found on the stand promoting Derek and Begonias in general. I personally had known her for around 30 years and  found her to be a wonderful friendly person. 

She will be sorely missed by all that knew her. Please can all member remember Derek and support him where possible at this sad time. 

                   Bob Bryce NBS Secretary

Annual General Meeting  2017
The 68th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 18th. February  1pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ

4th. October  2016
 We are sorry to learn that Pauline Walker, wife of Barry Walker has passed away.
 Our condolences from all within the Society go out to Barry.

Shrewsbury Flower Show
Friday 12th. & Saturday 13th. August
Quarry Park, Shrewsbury
Judges: Cut Bloom & Pot Classes - Robert Nelson and Chris Davies
Species, Intermediate and Novice Classes - Sandra Davies and Robert Bryce
Note  This is the rectified version
Schedules issued by Shrewsbury to existing exhibitors omitted class 404 for 3 pots Tuberous Double Begonias
NBS National Show Secretary
Mike Avis

Annual General Meeting  2016
The 67th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 20th. February  1pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ
Agenda & Minutes in Members Only section

28th. September 2015
  Up-date on Ralph Trinder.
   A group of South Wales Area Members' attended Ralph's 80th birthday party, which was held at the nursing home where he is resident, after his stroke last year.
   It was a gorgeous sunny day and we were able enjoy the sunshine in the communal home garden. The attendees included Ralph's many friends, neighbours' and family, including his grandchildren, Grace and Jack. Ralph was in his element surrounded by people who are close to him. From the photo you can see that he is looking well and enjoying the company of his begonia friends.
   I spoke to Andrew, Ralph's son yesterday and Ralph is continuing to be up-beat and cheerful, after a visit from his other son David, who visited from Australia for a week to spend time with his Dad, this further lifted his spirits.
                                                                                                                         Ian Rhys Williams

18th. May 2015 - I was informed that Jeanie Telford the wife of our Editor had
passed away after a long illness. The thoughts of the whole Society are with Derek and his family at this sad time.
 Our sincere condolences.

                                                 Robert Bryce  Secretary

January 2015


Ralph has been moved into a nursing home, a half mile from the hospital where he was previously.
His son Andrew took this photo two weeks ago. He is wearing the South Wales Area 'T' shirt proudly.

His speech hasn't improved as quickly as expected, however, as the photo shows, Ralph is continuing to smile. He understands everything said and tries to reply, however, his speech is not always clear and understandable. 

Both Derek Bonner, Danny Davies and I have visited Ralph on numerous occasions, the last being the week before Christmas.

Ian Rhys Williams                        

Annual General Meeting  2015
The 66th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 10th. January  1pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ



Manningford Community Centre is now back operating after the fire.
 I therefore feel that this is the best solution as many members do not use the website and would
therefore be relying on the Bulletin which states Manningford Hall.

For the attention of Committee Members' only.
Committee Meeting to begin at 10:30AM. Minutes of last year's meeting will be published in the Member's only section.
If you attend meeting please have a copy of these minutes with you.

21st. October 2014


   Beryl Spurr who suddenly died last weekend will be remembered by many of our older members. She was the widow of the late Vic Spurr, who was a gold and silver medal winner, and past Chairman of our society. Beryl was always at Vic’s side, enjoying their many visits around the country, especially the South Coast Area and Yorkshire and Humberside Area. Beryl has been in a care home for the past 11 years since Vic died. I have visited her on many occasions, the last time was only a fortnight before she died, she was always eager to know how various members were getting on, and loved to recall many past treasured memories.

Jeff Rhodes


4th. September  2014

Died 17th. August 2014

 It is with great sadness that I and other members' of the South Wales Area heard about the bereavement of Irwyn Morgan aged eighty eight, who died peacefully, on Sunday, 17th. August 2014. Irwyn attended every Area Meeting and Show until very recently, when illness prevented him from attending. He was the Secretary of the Pontarddulais Agricultural and Horticultural Show for over forty years, gardening was in his blood. Irwyn worked for the South Wales Evening Post as Chief Photographer since the Second World War, retiring in 1988. As a young photographer in 1966 he covered the Aberfan disaster, where one hundred and sixteen school children died when a mountain of colliery waste engulfed their Aberfan school. He will be missed fondly. Our thoughts are with Marian his wife and family, at this very sad time.

Ian Rhys Williams.


30th. July  2014

Died 29th. July 2014

   It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my great friend Denis. Denis had contacted incurable mouth cancer and succumbed to its devastating effects.
   Denis has been a constant in the begonia world and the NBS for over 25 years. He was a regular showman first at St Annes then Southport and later the Yorkshire Area Show. Denis was a very successful showman winning best pot and the Bronze Medal at Southport for eight consecutive year and often winning the Bronze Medal for cut blooms as well. A very well respected member of the North West and all that have shown at Southport will know how good Denis's culture was.
   At his best I would say he was our best pot plant grower being influenced by
Derek Telford in his early days always showing clean and tidy. A few years ago when I decided to grow some pots Denis was the first person I asked for advise and he certainly influenced me and helped me win the British Championship.
   Under normal circumstances I always sat with Denis at our Area meetings. I would best describe him as quiet and unassuming but always friendly offering all who asked him great advise and more importantly friendship. He was the NW Area Rep for a good number of years and was loved by all.
   He was also a keen Rugby Union man watching Fylde for more years than I can remember. He used to joke that he was their oldest and most determined fan.
   Prior to retiring he worked for Fylde Council being a very long time employee.
   I will always remember Denis winning the best pot in show at Southport with Jessie Cruikshank and the late Bertie Cruikshank describing it as the best pot he had ever seen. Some allocade from my mentor who was the finest grower of any plant that I have ever seen.
   God bless Denis I am sure that there will be a place for you with Bert as head gardener in heaven. Southport will never be the same.
   My condolences to his wife June and his family at this difficult time. Gone but never forgotten.

Robert Bryce

27th. July  2014
Ralph Trinder has suffered a stroke and is in hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family for a speedy recovery.

15 June 2014  OBITUARY
Donald (Don) Dewey

   It with deep regret that I report the passing of Don on Saturday 14th June after a short illness.

   Don lived in Little Stoke, South Gloucestershire and had grown, shown and judged chrysanthemums for over forty years before transferring his allegiance to begonias eight years ago.    He had exhibited from time to time at shows at Bideford, North Devon and also at Portchester on the South Coast.

   Don loved visiting shows and attended on a regular basis the National, when it was held at King’s Heath, Birmingham and also the South Wales Show at Swansea. His great love was visiting other growers and their greenhouses and talking “all things begonia”.

   Many in the South West will miss him greatly and we extend and our sympathy and condolences to his family and friends.

Basill Billinger

December 2013


It is with great sadness we report death of Geoffrey Porter on 10th December at the young age of 56.

   Geoff was a stalwart member of both the National and Scottish Begonia Societies and as “our man” in Northland Ireland he grew pots, blooms and baskets to a very high standard. Geoff exhibited at numerous shows including his local Comber Show and the University of Belfast. Annually he made the journey to Malahide, Dublin, to exhibit and to promote begonias on that side of the border. Additionally, Geoff grew fuchsias and pelargoniums, again to a very high standard.

   If it had have been logistically possible he would have been a winner on any show bench on the mainland. Geoff contributed to the Bulletins and web sites of both societies. He was a regular visitor to the SBS show at Ayr and also took in Shrewsbury and Southport shows at times. Whenever he was on the mainland he would call in to visit Bellcross Nurseries and also Blackmore & Langdon.

   What many in the begonia world did not know was that he was an acclaimed canine judge both nationally and internationally, specialising in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Two years ago he was proud to judge at the Stoneleigh, Warwickshire National Show considered by many to be superior to Cruffs. Last summer, though not in the best of health, he was able to undertake a further judging assignment in the States. His critiques on the dogs he judged were outstanding and his comments were eagerly awaited by exhibitors.

   Geoff was a gentleman and one of life’s “good guys”. He will be sorely missed.

   Our condolences go out to his family and friends in North Ireland and worldwide.

Basil Billinger

Pages by the late Geoffrey Porter
2007 City of Belfast Flower Show     2008 Irish Begonia Championship     The Malahide Show 2009    
   Geoff's begonias 2011     The Malahide Show 2012     Pendula Seedlings

Shrewsbury Flower Show
Friday 8th. & Saturday 9th. August
Quarry Park, Shrewsbury
Judges:   Dave Coates, Robert Bryce or Terry Tasker and Scottish Judge to be named
Further details

Pictures of last year's Show

Annual General Meeting  2014
The 65th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 22nd. February   1pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ
There will also be a talk given by Robert Bryce. The 2014 N B S; raffle will also be drawn.

For the attention of Committee Members' only. Committee meeting will begin, at 11AM.

June 2013


   For many years in the seventies, eighties and nineties Fred was a regular visitor to Shows and meetings in the South Coast and Reading Areas. For several years along with his wife and other local members he staged displays in our Society's name at the Reading Show. He later moved to Cambridgeshire but continued to support our Society, he was well known to many.
   Our sympathies go out to wife Elsie.

Brian Simmons

April 2013


   I was saddened to hear of the death of Mary Webb, the wife of our President Maurice Webb.  Mary has played an active part both as a member and a committee member of the society for many many years.  She was appointed treasurer following the death of Fred Martin.  A post she held for a good number of years before resigning the position, only to be hastily recalled to the post when the society found itself in difficult circumstances.  Thanks to Mary and others the society managed to survive.  Our sympathies go to Maurice and family.

Jeff Rhodes


Saturday 31st. August & Sunday 1st.September
 Worcester Road, Wychbold, Droitwich Spa, Worcester   WR9 0DG
2 minutes from Junction 5, M5, on the A38 between Droitwich Spa and Bromsgrove
Show Secretary   Mike Avis, 19 Moreton Avenue, Bideford, Devon. EX39 3AY Tel. 01237 475914
Judges A.Bryce, R.Bryce, A.MacDougall, T.Tasker

Pictures of last year's Show

Annual General Meeting  2013
The 64th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 18th. May   2pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ

April 2012

Society President Maurice Webb and wife Mary (for many years Treasurer) have been awarded our highest honour at this year's AGM.

At the same Meeting Jeff Rhodes was appointed Chairman.
Many thanks to the retiring Len Gill for his services over many years.
Len will continue as Yorkshire & Humberside Area Rep.

The National Show 2012

 Worcester Road, Wychbold, Droitwich Spa, Worcester   WR9 0DG
2 minutes from Junction 5, M5, on the A38 between Droitwich Spa and Bromsgrove
Saturday 11th. &  Sunday 12th. August

Annual General Meeting
The 63rd. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 21st. April   2pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ

November   2011   GOLD MEDAL AWARD

Brian Simmons   Website Editor
  I am greatly honoured to receive this Award that our Society has bestowed upon me.  A part of it must belong to the many members who  supported me through our wonderful years at Southsea and now with articles and pictures for this website. Along the way I have made lots of friends and probably would have made many more if I had travelled to the shows. It is your support that has kept me going and hopefully it will continue into the future. Next year will be the 10th. anniversary of our website and I would like to make it a bumper one please, without your contributions there would be no website..
   An added bonus was to have the Medal presented to me by my good friend Dave Coates (right) as we have been associated together in our Society’s activities for so many years. The fact that Dave is the current National Champion also has added a little extra status to the occasion.
   Many thanks to Dave's wife Pauline for the excellent buffet lunch. 


October   2011   GOLD MEDAL AWARD

  Chairman Len Gill presented Society Treasurer George Rushforth with his Gold Medal Award for outstanding services to the Society.

Congratulations George on behalf of all the members in our Society.


October   2011   GOLD MEDAL AWARD

   Society Chairman Len Gill presented Derek L Telford with his Gold Medal Award for outstanding services to the Society.
   Derek has been bulletin editor for many years.

In Derek's own words:    "It is beautiful and I am truly overjoyed by the honour which the NBS have conferred on me.   It is a mixture of feelings which assail me as I gaze at it on the side of my desk. In particular I glow with the feeling that it comes from my friends."

Congratulations Derek on behalf of all the members in our Society.


Annual General Meeting 2011
The 62nd. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 7th. May   2pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ

The National Show 2011

Kenilworth Road, Hampton in Arden, Solihull  B92 0LP
Saturday 3rd. &  Sunday 4th. September
Judges  Alan Bryce, Alan Harris, George Thompson SBS

 Pictures of last year's Show

Annual General Meeting  2010
The 61st. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 10th. April   2pm
Manningford Community Hall,  Bell's Lane,  Nr Maypole Island
Birmingham B14 5TJ

The National Show  2010
Held in Conjunction with
The Gardener's Weekend,  Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham
Saturday 4th. &  Sunday 5th. September
Pictures of last year's Show

The National Show  2009
Held in Conjunction with
The Gardener's Weekend,  Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham
Saturday 5th. &  Sunday 6th. September
Judges: R. Bryce  D. Coates  G. Thompson (SBS)
Prize money has been considerably increased this year.
Pictures of last year's Show

2009 Annual General Meeting
The 60th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 4th. April   2pm
The Renewal Christian Centre, Lode Lane, Solihull

Neville Webb
15th. February 1930-16th. August 2008
78 years of age.

   Neville Webb was the best sort of friend any man would have been proud to have had.  He was honest, loyal, kind, considerate, and supportive.  He was married to his best friend and love of his life Barbra, who in turn waited on him hand and foot. He lived a good life entering into several different hobbies and gave 100% of his self into every thing he entered into.  His love of the begonia came only second to that of his wife, he was competitive and always wanted to win, however when he didn’t, he was always amongst the first to congratulate the winner.  The later ten or twelve years Neville was dogged with ill health, he carried on growing as long as he could but eventually had to give up his beloved flowers. Throughout his life he made very many friends, who I am sure will miss him.  For my self it was an honour to have known him and a privilege to have had him for my friend.

Jack Larter

2008 Annual General Meeting
The 59th. Annual General Meeting
Saturday 12th. April   2pm
The Renewal Christian Centre, Lode Lane, Solihull

The National Show 2008
Held in Conjunction with
The Gardener's Weekend,  Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham
Saturday 30th. &  Sunday 31st. August
Judges: Alan Bryce, Derek Telford, R Frazer Wood (SBS).
Schedules from: Jeff Rhodes 7 Tew Street, Wakefield. WF2 8DR
Tel 01924 217579     email


The 56th. National Show.
Held in conjunction with The Gardeners Weekend.
Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham    Saturday 1st. & Sunday 2nd. September  2007

The National Show was generally accepted as the best for many years, both in quality and quantity of exhibits.
Jack Larter won the National Championship for 12 cut-blooms.  Bob Bryce the British Championship for 7 pots and
also Best Pot with Mrs E McLauchlan.
 Ken Gallagher gained Best Cut-bloom with Nichola Coates.


Chairman Len Gill was presented with the Silver Medal of Honour


The 55th. National Show.
Held in conjunction with The Gardeners Weekend.
Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham    Saturday 2nd. & Sunday 3rd. September  2006

   The standard was very high for the difficult year and entries were good in most classes.  Honours in the pot plant classes were shared between John Dearn (7 pots), Lakin Earl (6 pot restricted) and Vincent Potts (species etc.).
In the cut bloom classes John Chiswell was the master, winning the 12, 6 and all the 3 pot classes. I am not sure if this has been done before, but it was certainly a magnificent achievement.                                                                                            Report by Alan Harris.



The 54th. National Show.
Held in conjunction with The Gardeners Weekend.
Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham    Saturday 3rd. & Sunday 4th. September  2005
  The Show  was one of the best for many years. Entries were up on last year in most classes and the quality was very good, especially in the cut bloom classes, where Ken Gallagher again won the National 12 bloom championship.   Barry Walker was champion of the pot plants in the 7 pot championship and Lakin Earl was once more the master of the restricted pots.
   Best Pot was won by Paul Lakin with Whispers, whilst I was successful with Ruby Young as best bloom.  We still need more entries next year, but this was a big improvement and a credit to the society.


The highlight on Saturday was the presentation of Society Silver Medals by Chairman Len Gill (right) to Dave Coates (left) and John Taylor (centre) for service to the society over many years.

Report & picture by Alan Harris
More Show Pictures by Alan



   The AGM of the society was held in the Christian Renewal Centre Solihull on Saturday 9th April with a very poor attendance of just 21 people.  Obviously members are happy with the way things are run!!  The only resolution was a change to the rule regarding the Floral Committee where it was agreed to change the wording such that it always comprises the current judges.  This simplifies matters and removes the need to continually update the list.
   Following the meeting John Taylor showed a very interesting series of slides taken during his recent visit to New Zealand.

Report & picture by Alan Harris

The three tubers of Emily Rose, recently individually auctioned on this website, raised £116 for Society funds.
The Secretary wishes to thank all bidders, the winners of which have been informed.

The 54th. National Show.
Held in conjunction with The Gardeners Weekend.
Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham    Saturday 4th. & Sunday 5th. September  2004

Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in the month before the show, entries were very low and the quality was not the best we have seen. The main prize winners were John Taylor with his entry of 7 pots and Ken Gallagher with his 12 Cut Blooms. The high point of the show was the very good entry, and quality of the non tuberous and species classes. These were the best for many years. The other high point was Ian and Christine Yeardley's entry in the display class. We must all try harder next year to get the show back to former glories.
                                                                   Alan Harris


The 2004 AGM
   The 55th Annual General Meeting was held in Solihull on Saturday 13th March 2004 with the President, Maurice Webb in the chair and 29 members attended.
Picture 1 shows Maurice in the centre, with George Rushforth, Treasurer on his right and the Secretary Alan Harris.
  Andrew MacDougal was welcomed to the meeting as the new representative for the Central Area. The Secretary's and Treasurer's reports were accepted and the following officers were re-appointed. Maurice Webb, President. Len Gill, Chairman. Alan Harris, Secretary.
   The following committee members resigned in rotation and offered themselves for re-election; Dave Staines, John Taylor and Dave Hall. They were all re-elected together with Andrew MacDougal, the new Central Area Representative who now joins the committee.
Picture 2 shows that the meeting is also a social occasion and shows members enjoying a cup of tea and a chat after the meeting.

Report & pictures by Alan Harris

The 53rd National Show
Kings Heath Park, Birmingham on 30th &  31st Aug.  2003
 Entries were well up to previous years in total, which was amazing considering the tropical conditions in August. It was particularly pleasing to see 3 entries in each of the main pot plant classes and the standard was exceptional with Peter Read and Lakin Earl the winners.  The cut blooms entries were down with 5 entries in the 12 board class.  The standard was not as high as recent years, but still a lot better than expected.  Blooms seem to be more affected by the heat than plants.  It was nice to see Ken Gallagher back to winning ways.   We still need more entries in the non tuberous, novice and intermediate classes but all in all it was a very good show expertly managed by the stand-in Show Secretary Jeff Rhodes.          Results         Pictures

Report by Alan Harris

The Scottish Begonia Society
honoured one of our own members when they awarded their Silver Medal to Derrick Foster for his services to their society. The photograph shows Derrick being presented with his medal by Andrew Todd, President of The Scottish Begonia Society at The Ayr Show.


Report & picture by Jeff Rhodes

The 2003 AGM of the society was held on 26th July and it was Len Gill's pleasure to present Derek Telford with the Silver Medal for many years of service to the society.  The picture shows the presentation being made at the meeting.

Left Len Gill, Chairman.  Right Derek Telford, bulletin editor.

Report & picture by Alan Harris.

Tarsonamid mite
There appears to be a major outbreak of  on begonias up and down the country.

Obituary. Vic Spurr

  After coping with the after effects of two strokes for a number of years, Vic passed away in hospital on June 1st 2003.
   Vic was one of our longest serving members of the National Begonia Society, and was a great ambassador for the society. He and his wife Beryl regularly travelled the length and breadth of the country promoting the society. He willingly gave his time to give talks to the members, and was well respected as a judge. He gave invaluable service on the committee, and was society chairman for a number of years. Vic was awarded both the Silver medal and the Gold medal for his services to the society.
   On a personal note he gave me tremendous support in setting up the Yorkshire & Humberside area, and was a regular attendee at our meetings and shows. He always became involved and thoroughly enjoyed the friendly argument and banter. After such an active life, Vic found it most difficult to come to terms with his situation. He thoroughly enjoyed his visits to the society AGM and the National show at Kings Heath, where he could meet up with all his begonia guys and gals. We all will sadly miss him. Our sincere condolences go to his wife Beryl, (who, due to her own immobility has now had to move into a residential care home,) and his son Nigel and family.

Jeff Rhodes

April 2003
The rule that restricts the number of flowering side shoots to three has been relaxed at some Shows.
There is still a requirement for only one main stem and on pot size.   Please check the schedule before entering.