The National Begonia Society



Society  History
Extracts 1945 - 1976

   “It is quite time a Begonia Society should be formed. There can be no question about the success. The Society should have several shows a year, under auspices which would bring lovers of this flower together, and influence friends to become growers. They could not withstand the inducement, ocular demonstration of the beauty, and advantages this flower has over all others for decoration as well as bedding”.
   C.A.Farini wrote the above in his book published in 1895, but it was over 50 years later that our Society was to be formed.

1945 : Mr. T.F.Burgess visited Mr. L.A.Simpson at his home in Birmingham, and upon seeing the magnificent display of Begonias in Mr. Simpson’s greenhouse he remarked that they should both form a Begonia Society. (He was probably unaware that The Scottish Begonia Society had been formed a few years earlier). The idea slowly gained impetus, and in 1948 a Begonia Society was formed.
1948 : Inaugural meeting of The National Begonia Society of England and Wales. Mr.S.C.Langdon in the Chair. Mr.L.A.Simpson elected Chairman, and Mr.T.F.Burgess elected Secretary/Treasurer. Annual subscription set at 10/6d.
1948 : Mr.F.J.Bedson elected the Society’s first President.
1948 : Mr.T.F.Burgess resigns, and Mr.L.A.Simpson elected Secretary.
1949 : Mr.J.Woolman. V.M.H. elected to the Committee.
1949 : Mr.D.S.Anderson elected to the Committee.
1949 : The first Annual General Meeting was held at the R.H.S. rooms in London. Membership reported at 76.
1949 : Mr. L.A. Simpson staged a group of Begonias at the City of Birmingham Show.
1949 : Mr. F.J.Martin joined the Society. This gentleman was to play a major part in the Society’s activities for many years to come.
1949 : Mr.J.A.Lewin elected Treasurer.
1949: Eight page booklet produced based on a talk given by S.C.Langdon.
1950: Mr.F.J.Bedson resigns as President.
1950: Mr.M.W.Beer elected President.
1950 : Mr.J.Woolman. V.M.H. elected Chairman.
1950 : The first Annual Show of the Society was held in September, at the City of Birmingham Show. Membership stood at 108.
1950 : Mr.W.Hudson organised a decorated Advisory Bureau at Southport Show, and continued to do so for over 25 years.
1951 : F.J.Bedson produced the first multi-paged Bulletin. Single sheet newsletters had been produced prior to this.
1952: First Society Handbook produced based on the eight page booklet published in 1949, and the contents of the Bulletins so far published.
1952 : L.A.Simpson awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1952 : F.J.Bedson elected Editor.
1953 : F.J.Bedson awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1953 : W.Hudson awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1954 : Novice Classes to be included in the National Show.
1955 : No Committee Meetings due to no quorum. No A.G.M.
1956 : F.J.Martin elected Secretary/Treasurer.
1957 : L.A.Simpson elected President.
1958 : The National Show is held in Handsworth. 98 new members enrolled. 250 members.
1959 : Proposal to change the Society title to The British Begonia Society resulted in a protest from The Scottish Begonia Society.
1960 : The title of our Society was adopted as The National Begonia Society.
1961 : F.J.Martin awarded the Society Gold Medal of Honour. Silver proposed, but change to Gold agreed.
1962 : W.Hudson appointed Northern Area Rep.
1962 : Mr.J.W.Simmons M.B.E. appointed Southern Area Rep.
1963 : J.W.Simmons M.B.E. awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1964 : First Membership card issued.
1964 : Mrs.A.H.Barker first female Officer as Editor.
1965 : Membership stands at 465.
1966 : Annual subscription raised to 12/6d. Membership stands at 493.
1967 : Mr.A.D.Potty appointed Southern Area Rep.
1968 : N.B.S. tie shown to Committee. List of members published in the bulletin. 526 members.
1969 : Membership stands at 564.
1969 : At the 20th Annual Show 258 Pots and 333 Cut Blooms were exhibited.
1970 : D.S.Anderson awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1970 : Mr.E.G.Haines awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1970 : Mr.C.Woolley elected to new post of Assistant Secretary.
1971 : J.A.Lewin awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1972 : Mr.D.Clarkson elected Editor.
1972 : Mr.G.Beevor appointed South west Area Rep.
1972 : Mr.R.Curry appointed North East Area Rep.
1972 : D.S.Anderson elected to new post of Vice Chairman.
1973 : C.Woolley awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1973 : The first Annual Show at Southsea.
1974 : Mr.R.Haslam appointed North West Area Rep. 906 members.
1975 : D.S.Anderson elected Chairman.
1975 : Mr.W.C.Vicary elected Vice Chairman.
1975 : Dr.E.Catterall elected Editor.
1976: E.Catterall elected Secretary.
1976 : Mr.M.N.Webb elected Treasurer.
1976 : S.C.Langdon awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
1976 : Mr.B.Simmons appointed South Coast Area Rep.

1977 - 2002          2003 0nwards

Society Archivist Barry Walker