Sadness as horticultural society folds

A LONG-standing Normanton and Altofts institution has folded due to lack of interest.

The Normanton and District Paxton Horticultural show, which organised an autumn flower, vegetable and home produce show and a spring flower show every year, has closed.

Secretary Phil Wray said: “The main reason we have finished is through lack of members. It got to the stage where we were down to just eight members and there were only three or four of them in good health.

“Our treasurer is 84 and suffers from cancer, our chairman is in his 80s and has angina and arthritis and our vice chairman is 79 and has kidney problems and has dialysis three times a week. It is just a fact of life.

“The next age group is between 65 and 70 and we have only one member who is below 65.”

Mr Wray said it was believed the society was founded in Normanton in the 1940s, or even as far back as the 1920s, and originally had a thriving membership who met often for various social events and talks. It moved to St Mary Magdalene Church Hall on Church Road, Altofts, in 1976.

He added: “The society itself was in good health financially and we have had more and more exhibitors every year from all over the north of England, particularly for our spring show. And in 1976 we had six classes for entries, last year we had 54.

“But we didn’t always have a lot of support from the public – the show was always open but very few people used to come.

“We are sad that we have had to finish but we just got to the stage where there were so few of us to do the work that we just couldn’t fill the officers’ posts at all, and once you haven’t got a committee, you can’t do anything.”

He said some of the society’s remaining active members had joined the Wakefield Paxton Society.

Normanton flower, vegetable and town show has now been renamed Normanton and Altofts Horticultural show.