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2001 Paul Barlow


Brief history of the Scottish Group of the National Chrysanthemum Society

Our Secretary looks back over the years since the Scottish Group was formed in 1961.

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SCOTTISH GROUP FOUNDED
A meeting to discuss the formation of a NCS Scottish Group was held in the Royal Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh, on Saturday 8 April 1961. J B Stevenson, Chairman of the NCS, attended. The Group was to be run by a President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Management Committee on which would be a member from each society that supported the formation of the Group. There were 25 societies at the start. The elected officers were as follows Chairman - Dr D Clark, Vice Chairman - G Haggart, Secretary - W D MacConnachie, and Treasurer - J Jack. A President was to be elected at the first meeting.

FIRST MEETING
The first meeting was in St Andrews Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 27 May 1961. J Bannatyne was proposed as the President and later accepted the position.

FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The first AGM was held in Simpson House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, on Saturday 31 March 1962. The office bearers elected to posts at the foundation meeting in April 1961 remained in these posts. The Committee elected were W J Butcher, J Campbell, J Connor, I Davidson, W MacCulloch, W MacFarlane, D G Stewart, W Todd, G Wilson, J G Young. Two further members were co-opted later, W McRoberts, H Williamson.


INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCOTTISH GROUP

Committee
Dr D Clark was a member of the Management Committee when the Group was founded and is on the present Management Committee. Other long serving members are J Cathcart and A Pinkerton and D Buchan.

Shows and sponsorship
The Group sponsored classes for many years, at both early and late shows. In the mid 1960's classes were held within shows, initially with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, then in the late 1970's with the Royal Horticultural Society of Aberdeen. From 1986 to 1998 the classes were held with several other Societies: Brechin, Dundee, Fife and Kinross, Perth, and the Scottish National Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society. Currently the Group provides sponsorship to three societies in the form of NCS membership which is given to winners of a defined class.

Trials
Trials were held by R Johnstone, Kirkmuirhill from 1962 to 1964, then until the late 1970's at Rouken Glen, Glasgow.

Conferences
A dinner was held after the AGM in the early years of the Group. This was replaced later with a conference held outwith the AGM. Currently a conference and panel evening is held in October.

Man of the Year A ward
The trophy was given by W Todd, Perth, to be awarded annually to the most promising new grower of lates: this was done from 1977 to 1979. In 1981 the conditions were changed and the award went for services to the chrysanthemum in Scotland. A minor problem occurred in 1987 when the recipient was a lady, Dorothy Spencer - the award became "Person of the Year Award" for subsequent years.

Glasgow Garden Festival
The Group had excellent publicity at the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988. It combined with the Scottish National Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society to plant and maintain a chrysanthemum and dahlia garden, much admired by the public. The Group and the Society also ran a most successful show at the Festival attracting exhibitors from all over Scotland as well as further afield.

National Chrysanthemum Society AGM
In 1990 the NCS AGM was held in Scotland for the first time since the Society was founded: it was at Perth. 1996 saw the return of the NCS AGM this time to Dumfries. In 2002 the Scotiish Group again hosts the National Society AGM, this time in Aberdeen.

Publications
A twice yearly Newsletter to Societies was started in 1988 and was well received. Following on from this a review of how new early cultivars perform in Scotland commenced in 1994. The lates were catered for in 1995 with a booklet on how to grow them and what cultivars to try, based on the experiences of Scottish growers. In 1996 a book, Chrysanthemum Celebration, was compiled to celebrate 150 years of the National Chrysanthemum Society. It records the experiences of many chrysanthemum growers and exhibitors in Scotland.

Award winners
The National Society has bestowed one of it's highest awards on three Scottish Members - Gold Medal holders for services to the Chrysanthemum are Bill MacConnachie (deceased), Dr David Clark and Dr Dorothy Spencer.

Prepared by the Secretary National Chrysanthemum Society Scottish Group
February 1999, updated December 2001. 


If you would like further information or wish to comment on this publication please send your e-mail to: paul.barlow@chrysanthemums.info

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Last updated on 23 December, 2001