Southport Nostalgia: Southport Chrysanthemum Society celebrates its 70th anniversary


Members of the Southport Chrysanthemum Society committee performed in Southport in September 1981. Alan Foxell is in the back row, third from left

By Andrew Brown

The Southport Chrysanthemum Society celebrates its 70th anniversary!

The organization was founded in 1950, five years after the end of World War II, and was due to mark its seven decades of existence last year – but unfortunately the celebrations had to be put on hold due to the Covid pandemic and the blockages that followed. .

Instead, celebrations will take place this month, with 70 Society members enjoying a celebratory meal at Southport College’s Clouds Restaurant.

The friendly society has around 200 members who meet at 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month between September and May. People are invited to come and join them.

The Southport Daffodil Championship at the Southport Chrysanthemum Society Show in Southport in 1983

Alan Foxall of the Company said, “We look forward to celebrating our 70th anniversary! We should have marked the occasion last year, but due to the Covid lockdowns we were unable to have any meetings or put on any shows.

“One week today we are all going to Clouds Restaurant at Southport College for lunch to celebrate our 70th anniversary.

“We’re going to be 70, which is pretty cool!

“We must have had four different dates for this celebration over the past few months!

“I joined the Southport Chrysanthemum Society when I was 18 and I’m 69 now. I can not believe it ! Where has the time gone! “

Alan has had a passion for gardening and growing top quality flowers from a young age, a passion he has carried on throughout his life.

He worked as a nursery manager for Churchtown Botanic Gardens in Southport for 46 years.

He joked, “You don’t have that much time for a murder now!” It was a very good working day at the Botanical Garden.

Alan has won a large number of trophies and awards at the Southport Flower Show and in many other competitions.

Southport Chrysanthemum Society Trophy Winners in September 1981

He said: “When I looked in the old archives, everyone who works at the botanical gardens was linked to the Southport Chrysanthemum Society. Before me, it was Norman Wright; before him, it was Jack Lee. They have all been involved in the Society.

People don’t have long to wait for their next show, with Marble Place Mall in downtown Southport inviting people to enjoy a fall flower show in October.

The storefront returns to Marble Place on Chapel Street on Saturday October 30 and Sunday October 31.

Judges at the Southport Chrysanthemum Society Show at Churchtown Botanic Gardens in Southport in September 1981

Visitors to this free event can enjoy fabulous flowers, floral art, foliage – and hand-carved and decorated spooky pumpkins!

The Southport Chrysanthemum Society is delighted to be back at the center for its first show since before the Covid pandemic two years ago.

Former Botanic Gardens Nursery Director Alan Foxall has been a member of the organization for 51 years.

Alan has won a number of awards exhibiting at the annual Southport Flower Show and many other flower contests.

Southport Chrysanthemum Society exhibition in Southport in October 1984

He said: ‘This is the first time that we will be back at Marble Place Mall in Southport in two years, because of all the Covid lockdowns.

“We are happy to bounce back! This will be the first flower show people have seen in Southport in months.

“There are a number of different classes that people can enjoy.

“There will be lots of chrysanthemums, in all of their fall hues and colors, while stunning floral art will also be on display.

“Because this show falls on Halloween weekend, there will be classes for decorated, flowered or carved pumpkins.

“People who come in don’t need to grow the pumpkins themselves, they can pick them up at their local farm store, greengrocer or supermarket.

“We will have classes on fall foliage and fall flowers in the garden, in addition to chrysanthemums.

“We also have courses in fruits and vegetables, flowering potted plants, foliage potted plants and cacti.

“During the lockdown, there was a huge increase in the number of people buying houseplants.

“This time around, the Formby Flower Club, Southport & District Flower Club and Bridge Inn Community Farm will also be participating in the event, both of which will have exhibits for us.

“We will also be showing a lot of old photos of the Company.

“We are really excited to be back with the show. It’s always a great atmosphere there.

If anyone is interested in attending any of the courses, please call event organizer Alan Foxall on 01704 225708 to obtain a registration form.

People will be asked to bring any exhibits to the side entrance of Marble Place Mall between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 29.

  • The Southport Chrysanthemum Society Autumn Flower Show takes place at Marble Place Shopping Center on Chapel Street in downtown Southport from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 30 and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 31. Free entry.

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