End of an era for town's horticultural society after 190 years

clinks care farm getting cheque

Presentation of the cheque to Clinks Care Farm in Toft Monks. - Credit: Elizabeth Shakespeare

Not many towns can boast having a well-established horticultural society that has been running for locals for 190 years.

But the Beccles and District Horticultural Society, which had been running since the year 1832, has now closed due to a number of factors.

The society was well-known in the town and local area for getting people together for talks, two annual horticultural shows and trips away to horticultural and garden shows.

Sue Patterson, 76, who lives in Burgh St Peter, has been at the helm as chairwoman for the past two decades and described the feeling of closing up after an incredible 190 years.

"The feeling from all of us summed up is sadness," she said.

"I have been chairwoman at Beccles and District Horticultural Society for the past 20 years now and it is sad that it has all come to an end under my watch.

"It is a mixture of things as to why we have closed really.

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"Covid had a bit to do with it but it is also a mix of other things including an ageing committee."

The 190-year-old society had been well established in the town and area and had 30 to 40 members when it shut last October.

"I have many fond memories," Mrs Patterson said.

"We were active for 10 months of the year and during that time we used to have regular meetings, host shows and go to horticultural shows around the country too.

"Everyone at the society was always so friendly to one another and we all used to get coach trips to garden shows.

"It was a social society and I think we will all miss that aspect of it all greatly."

It is not all doom and gloom though as the society's remaining funds of £2,856 has been donated to Clinks Care Farm just outside Toft Monks, Norfolk, near Beccles and this will be used on farm equipment.

Clinks Care Farm plays an active role in the local community aiding people's recovery and helping guide them in to the world of work.

Mrs Patterson added that Oulton Broad still have a horticultural society if people were looking to join.