Gardening in Kennington in the 1950s

I have very fond memories of Kennington Horticultural Society over many years. In the 1950s, when I was a child, a Mr Cyril Peedell would knock on my foster mother's door, saying "I've come for membership money, please" - 5 shillings then.

We had a very big garden along Kennington Road which ran down to the railway line. Having six mouths to feed, the garden was full of everything you could think of. So, of course, when the Show came round every year, mother would show in most classes - even winning. Being a little girl, I would enter the flower arranging, drawing, teacake baking, etc. There was a lovely man called Mr Nash who would give me flowers and fruit at the end, before everything was sold off. I would think this was wonderful when I was only 7 or 8 years old. It was a happy community time and still is today.

We didn't have a lot of money, so mother would put a blackboard out on the path advertising Victoria plums, veg and other fruit for sale. People would always watch for the board to go out, it was great fun.

I grew up and my children would enter the Show, and my grandson too - such a wonderful thing to belong to all these years! We now have Brian and Alison Peedell to thank that we still have our Society. They do a wonderful job. And I enjoy meetings still.

Valerie Benfield
(née Spragg)

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