The Ufford Cottage Garden and Allotment Society was founded on 24th October 1907 and the 1st Annual Show was held in the grounds of Ufford Place on 2nd September 1908. Admission was 6d (2½p) – actually quite expensive – although for members and exhibitors there was no charge.
Under the name Ufford Horticultural Society the club was active in the 1920s and 1930s, until war was declared in 1939. Records for the Annual Show in1935 list 119 entrants in 45 classes including over 60 children. Class 41 – wild flowers, girls under 15, attracted 14 entries and the equivalent for boys 16. The weather was noted as ‘dull; p.m. occasional showers and thunder but considerable light intervals..’ which will sound familiar to members today.
The minutes of the final meeting of the 1930s, held on 8th December 1939, note that ‘owing to the state of affairs that persisted, it was impractical to hold the Annual Meeting…….’, and there is no further record of club activity until the 1960s.
The Society was revived almost 30 years later in 1967, when the annual subscription was 3/- (15p) – as it had been in 1939. There were 45 members. 15p in 1939 would equate to about £8 now so the current subscription of £7 continues to be good value! The centrepiece of the Society’s programme remained the Annual Show, a feature of Ufford life that continues now, together with a series of talks on gardening topics, social events and visits. In 1968 the programme included a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show and for many years there was an annual Harvest Supper and a Christmas party.
The name of the Society was changed to the Ufford Gardening Club in 1987. The Club is still active today and for the 2016 show 47 entrants entered an impressive 220 entries across the 77 different classes ranging from flowers to vegetables and soft fruit to a Lego garden for those aged 7 to 11 years.