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Tickhill Flower Shows

With the Flower Festival at St Mary’s over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Horticultural Society’s Show on 8 September, Tickhill has had a floral feast this year. Flower Shows are part of a long tradition in Tickhill, although earlier ones usually combined the output of local gardens displayed in marquees with a range of outdoor activities more in the spirit of present-day Galas.

The 31st Annual Exhibition of Tickhill Horticultural Society in August 1893 was, perhaps, more modest in scope than some later shows. Fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and plants were arranged in a marquee in a field loaned by Mrs W Whinfrey. Outside 16 children performed Maypole dancing while the Jubilee Brass Band played during the afternoon and evening. The Tickhill Flower Show held over the 1901 August Bank Holiday weekend was altogether more ambitious. The following account appeared in the September 1901 Parish Magazine.

‘It cannot be denied that an entertainment of this kind if well managed, affords a great deal of enjoyment to hundreds, gives an opportunity to many for a day’s outing and conduces to the prosperity of the town. There is much in Tickhill to attract visitors. The quaint red roofed houses, the broad streets, the ancient castle, the stately church, the beautiful landscape, these of themselves are sufficient to give abundant pleasure to lovers of country life. But when to them are added the attractions of a Flower and Horse Show, Athletic Sports and a Cricket Match, it is not surprising that numbers of people were induced to come hither on Bank Holiday in the hopes of spending a pleasant day. We believe they were not disappointed. The weather was fine throughout the day, the field where the show was held was conveniently situated, and seemed made, if not for sprinting and cycling, at any rate for trotting and jumping. The programme contained all kinds of interesting events. There was the Cricket Match against Hallam, which beginning at 11a.m., lasted through the day, and ended in a win for the home team, by an innings.

On entering the Flower Tent one was pleased with the artistic display of Ferns, Palms and Flowers. It would be invidious to single out exhibitors in this short notice, but as we walked round the tent and saw the profusion of vegetables and fruits, the number excited our amazement and admiration. We were glad to see many of our own people well to the front in the matter of prizes. The specimens shown were in many cases excellent, and we congratulate them that their labours had not been in vain. In passing, the eye caught a glimpse of the prizes selected by the Committee for the successful athletes; every article seemed to have been chosen for its elegance and usefulness, and we compliment those who were fortunate enough to receive them at the hands of Mr Philips, who very kindly undertook to distribute the prizes in the place of Lord Scarbrough, who, we much regret, was unable to perform the pleasing ceremony. On emerging from the tent there was much to attract. The foot races and bicycle handicaps elicited frequent applause.

The horses shown in harness and saddle were admired, not only for the clever way in which they were handled, but also for their own graceful efforts to gain the coveted Ribbon. Jumping the hurdles and a four barred gate was also interesting to watch. There can be no doubt that Miss Gill, of Brampton, deserved the 1st prize. Both rider and horse seemed as one as they gracefully skimmed the obstacles together. The last event, tilting at the ring, caused much excitement, and the dexterity with which some of the riders picked off the rings at full gallop showed wonderful skill.’

The account concludes with fulsome praise for the organisation of the event in general and for Mr Dixon, school master, in particular: ‘In Mr Dixon we found a man possessed of thorough business qualities, whatever he takes in hand he endeavours to bring to a successful issue.’ The Committee too worked splendidly and must have felt repaid by the fact that the show was one of the best seen in Tickhill for many years.





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