In the beginning – 1941- 1950
On the 5th of February 1941 at a public meeting held at the Ashdell Restaurant (located on Victoria Rd. near entrance to Marsh Mill) Councillor Hilton in the chair, proposed Thornton Cleveleys Allotment Holders & Gardeners Assoc. The proposal was accepted and the Society was born. The founding committee included President Cllr Hilton, Vice President Cllr Rowley, Secretary Mr Pearson, Treasurer Mr Turner.
It is believed that an allotment produce display was organised in 1941, unfortunately no minutes were kept of this event. The Association continued with the DIG FOR VICTORY theme, as part of the hugely successful propaganda campaign promoted by Churchill’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The year of 1943 saw the first record of the ‘T Ingle’ trophy being presented to Mr A Hodgkinson, for most points in the vegetable section. He went on to win the trophy for five consecutive years.
By 1945, The Association had by now obtained a list of trophies kindly donated by members; these included The Walker, Keirby, Eastwood, Ingle, Holt, Lumb, Merrill, Pavillion and Appleyard. A total value of £140.0.0 was recorded in the accounts.
In 1946, the Eastwood trophy first winner was Mr J Houghton.
In the year of 1947, there was a very bitter winter, causing all sorts of problems for the allotment holders. There is evidence of a HUT on the allotments, (now the Marsh Mill Shopping complex) where fertilisers and equipment were stored.
At the December 1948 AGM, The Society changed its name from the Thornton Cleveleys Allotment Holders & Gardeners Association to Thornton Cleveleys Horticultural Society.
By 1949, the trophy list had increased with The Oralite, Swarbrick, Houston, Hewitt, Gardener and Tolson trophies being in evidence. The total value £160.0.0. was recorded. There was no longer mention of the Merrill trophy.
1950 saw discussions underway, with the Thornton Borough Council, to resite the HUT. The Association wanted to move it to behind the now Little Theatre. However, it ended up on the Council land, opposite the garage, on Fleetwood Road. Below is a snippet of the balance sheet – note the trophies cost.