The End of an Era

Dec 5, 2018Headline News

Wind and rain did not deter 59 members of the Kilmington Gardening Club from gathering to review the year at its AGM and Social on Friday, 9th November, when our President, Sydie Bones gave her farewell address to the club that she has helped to nurture for many years.

In her illustrated review of the year, the Chair, Dr. B. J. Lewis (BJ), highlighted the many interesting talks during the year on a diverse range of topics covering different aspects of gardening from Grasses to Salvias, from being a ‘laid-back gardener’ to answering the question ‘How did it die?’! There were half-day visits to Bickham House, where Julia Tremlett followed up her talk to us by showing us round her superb garden, and Chideock Manor – only a short drive from Kilmington and a hidden gem! Further afield, we had day trips to Cranborne Manor and Knoll Gardens, with its astonishing collection of grasses. The plant market in May was well-attended (people were queuing to get in!) and the plants were snapped up in record time.

After a gap of one year, Kilmington Open Gardens returned, and visitors, both local and from further afield, took the opportunity to visit the allotments and a wide range of gardens – some old favourites, some new ones – all of them interesting and inspirational. After the hottest and driest summer for many years, many exhibitors feared that they would have nothing to show at the Annual Fayre and Flower Show on 28th July. However, the weather notwithstanding, the Gardening Club had over 500 entries and its floral marquee was as bright and colourful as ever with flowers, floral arrangements, fruit and vegetables as well as very imaginative junior creations. BJ also reported on the healthy state of the membership which currently stands at 162 members – exactly the same as last year!

The AGM was also an occasion to mark the departure of several stalwarts of the Club. First, Daphne Salter and Angela Burrough were presented with flowers to thank them for their significant contribution to the Club, after eight years of organising the raffle at the monthly talks.

Secondly, as the Club’s President, Sydie Bones, was not standing for re-election, BJ thanked her and presented her with flowers and an Honorary Life Membership certificate. BJ was also retiring as Chair and was duly elected as President. Committee member, Gill Gibbs, has kindly agreed to step in and was elected the new Chair. And finally, Pat Curran retired as children’s workshop organiser and was presented with flowers and thanked for her considerable efforts.

In her farewell address as President, Sydie paid tribute to BJ who has chaired the committee for nine years, guiding the club through new territory with wisdom and foresight, always positive and willing to listen. She added that the Club has benefited enormously from BJ’s professionalism and commitment and Sydie was happy to hand over her President’s shoes.

Members were able to renew their membership and, at only £5, it still represents remarkable value for the year. Wine and soft drinks were available on entry and, following the AGM, a delicious cold buffet produced by David Smith and other members of the committee, ensured that members enjoyed chatting with friends in a very convivial atmosphere.

We are pleased to announce that Christine Mills has agreed to continue organising our garden visits in 2019. Visits will be announced at the talks and posted on the website and members will be able to sign up at the meetings. At the AGM it was agreed that non-members would be asked to pay an extra £3 to cover insurance costs.

We look forward to welcoming members and visitors to our 2019 programme of meetings which is available now and can be viewed under ‘Annual Programme’.

Also, at the AGM, it was agreed that the charge for entry to the talks for non-members should be increased to £3 (except for special events). Starting the year in style will be Toby Buckland, of Gardeners’ World fame, who will be our guest speaker on 11th January. Be sure to book with Lesley Rew on 07900-827689 for this ticket-only event or email Tickets for members cost £5 and non-members £10.

In the meantime, we wish all our members a very Happy Christmas!

Annual Membership

The cost of annual membership in 2015 remains at only £5 per person, which entitles you to free admission to our interesting monthly talks held in Kilmington Village Hall on the second Friday of the month.
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B. J. Lewis (President)


Gill Gibbs (Chair)


Jean Falconer (Secretary)


David Bromley (Treasurer)


Beverley Perkins (Membership Secretary)


Lesley Rew (Talks Organiser)