Biddenham Gardeners’ Association AGM 2021

The Annual General Meeting of the BGA took place on 20th July 2021.  We were joined on Zoom by 35 members.  Ron Bessey is standing down from the committee after ten years of very committed service to the BGA.  He was thanked by Paul Fricker and was presented (virtually) with a gift.  It is due to Ron that we have such an outstanding web site.  Josie Duchenne was proposed as a new committee member by Ann Ebbs and was seconded by Linda Truscott.

Paul then thanked all the committee members for their hard work for the Association.  Paul also thanked Brian Cheyne for auditing our accounts, Rosemary Harris for her assistance with the web site and Peter Carter for devising our Christmas Quiz.  Paul then went on to say how the garden had become a life line for many people during the last year.  Gardens and gardening have enriched people’s lives and provided a source of fulfilment and contentment.   We are fortunate that our Association has been able to continue to provide friendship through our monthly meetings.  The speakers have been varied and knowledgeable and have been well received by members and visitors.

We were then treated to a really fascinating presentation on the work of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners by Kate Jones who was invited to be a member of this organisation 20 years ago.  This Company was first mentioned in 1345 and is a survivor from the many medieval craft guilds .  These guilds exercised control over the practice of their particular craft and ensured a proper training through an apprenticeship system.  The Gardeners guild received a royal charter in 1604 and thus enabled the gardeners to sell their produce in the city.  Current members are both professionals and amateurs who are actively involved in the craft and all are united by a common bond of horticulture and gardens.  The coat of arms bears the insignia “In the sweat of thy brows shalt thow eate thy bread”

The purpose of the Company is to support charitable activities connected with horticulture – for example Perennial, Gardening for the Disabled Trust, London in Bloom, Thrive – to name a few.  The Company also promotes the horticultural trade and provides friendship for keen amateurs and professionals. The charity presents awards to students of horticulture at Capel Manor College, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, RHS Wisley, Writtle College and the Royal Parks.

Kate went on to talk about the make up of the Company and how it is organised and managed.  She finished her talk by showing lovely photos of some of the countries and gardens visited by members.  Thank you Kate for a most interesting presentation.  

Linda Truscott

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