Conisborough Chrysanthemum Society – Seventh Annual Exhibition.

November 1891

Mexborough & Swinton Times – November 20, 1891

Conisborough Chrysanthemum Society.

Seventh Annual Exhibition.

The best show of chrysanthemums that has yet taken place in the historic, but rapidly transforming, parish of Conisborough, was arranged in the board school on Tuesday last.

This was the seventh exhibition, and the universal opinion was that good though its predecessors had been, this unmistakably deserved the highest praise. This must have been a gratification to the officials, all of whom are known to take great interest in the movement. The display was very neatly arranged in one of the larger rooms at these commodious schools, and a large and select company assembled at the time fixed for the opening ceremony.

Amongst these present were the officials, whose names are worthy of record :—President. Mr .J. Blyth : vice-presidents. Messrs. J. Gillott and R. H. Sharp : treasurer, Mr. J. Gibson : secretaries, Messrs, H. Booth and G. Harrison. The members of the committee were also in attendance during the day, and these gentlemen are Messrs. J. H. Watkinson, S. Taylor, H. Earnshaw, G. Hargreaves, T. R. Booth, If. J. Sharp. W. W. Norwood, J. E. Booth. T. Stacey and J. K. Bateson. There were also in the room Mr. George and Mrs. Nicholson, Mr. C. D. Clayton, Mr. Crawshaw, Dr. and Mrs. McCall, Dr. and Mrs. Denson, Mrs. and Miss Norwood, Miss Simpson, Mrs. Gillott, Miss Mitchell, Mrs. Henry Baker and Master Percy Baker, and many others.

Lady Fitzwilliam had been expected to perform the opening ceremony, but owing to the recent disease of a relative, the popular wife of the Member for the Division was unable to attend. Mr. Blyth, the president of the society, explained this, and said they all regretted the absence of (Lady Mary. and especially the cause why she was unable to be present. (Hear, hear.) But they had obtained the consent of Mrs. McCall to do the part which Lady Mary could not do. and they were pleased to weIcome her for that purpose. (Cheers)

In asking the lady thus to officiate, Mr. Blyth handed her, on behalf of the society, an exquisite bouquet.

Mrs. McCall thanked them for the flowers, and for the honour conferred upon her in asking her to open the exhibition. (hear, hear.) It gave her very much pleasure in taking that part in the proceedings. (hear, hear.) At the same time she was sure she was expressing, not only her own regret, but the regret of all present, at the cause which had prevented Lady Mary Fitzwilliam from attending. (hear, hear) She (Mrs. McCall) felt it to be no easy matter to take the place of Lady Mary. (Laughter); Flower shows were rather special occasions, and chrysanthemum exhibitions naturally came late in the season. (hear, bear.) There had already been six shows in connection with the Conisborough society, all of which she understood had been good, but the seventh was considered to beat them all, and that was very satisfactory, (cheers.) She had been looking around and was sure there were some very beautiful blooms—(hear, hear)—and as the ladies and gentlemen present would wish to inspect for them. selves, she would not detain them longer but at once declare the show open. (Cheers.)

Mr. R. H. Sharp said it would be a decided oversight not to return a vote of thanks and a very cordial one, to Mrs. McCall for so ably and grace fully performing that ceremony. (Cheers.) He had much pleasure in proposing a vote of thanks to her.

Mr. Nicholson seconded this with much pleasure, and the vote was carried with acclamation.

Dr. McCall said, on behalf of his wife, he must thank them much indeed for the appreciative way in which they had received the service of Mrs. McCall on that occasion. They were as yet comparative strangers in Conisborough, and the kindness of the inhabitants was very encouraging to them (Cheers.) He hoped this good feeling might continue to increase. (Cheers.)

The company then inspected the exhibits. Un-doughtedly the most attractive corner of the room was that where a group of chrysanthemums was arranged, with ornamental foliage plants —crotons, ferns, palms. &c. These had come from a greenhouse at Hickleton Hall, the residence of Viscount Halifax and secured the first prize, and were in charge of Mr. Weisman, the gardener. The judges of the show were Mr. Alriston, curator at Rotherham Park, and Mr. J. Balmforth, of Barnsley. They both declared the exhibition to be a highly creditable one for a local show, particularly in regard to the primulas and ornamental groups. The cut blooms, as Mrs. McCall had appropriately remarked, were also very commendable. The numerous variety of tints, all of which were well developed, proved very attractive to the visitors.

Chrysanthemum, as every one will know, means “gold flower “—though now cultivated into many colours— and is described as being a genus of herbaceous or somewhat shrubby plants.” chiefly grown in the temperate parts of the  world. There are only two native species in Britain—the ox-eye daisy and the corn marigold. But many foreign species have been long grown in English gardens.

Amongst the subscribers to the Conisborough society are Lady Mary Cooke, the Hon. H. W. Fitzwilliam, M. P. and many others, the total sum thus received in the year 1890 being £18. Up to the present the income and expenditure have about balanced but it is hoped by the continued success of the exhibitions, that further financial aid will be secured, and that even more awards may be offered by the society, so as to encourage the cultivation of this beautiful flower.

Special prizes are acknowledged from Messrs. Bell Bros. Shires and Co., Box, C. Walker, Hastie, and Hodgson and Hepworth. Doncaster; Messrs. Smith Bros and Redfern and Co., Rotherham; Mr. Whitfield, Firsby ; Messrs Meggitt and Sons. Denaby ; Mr. Wilkinson, Mexborough : Messrs. E. Pagdin, J. Sargon, J. Brocklesby, J. Morley, A. Betts. and G. Casson.

The list of awards was as follows :-

Open Classes

Group of chrysanthemums with ornamental foliage plants arranged for effect. not to exceed 5ft by 5 ft. —1st prize Wenman, 2nd Blyth, 3rd Meggitt.

Pot Plants. any variety.-1 Blyth, 2 Meggitt.

Prumulas (six). white or coloured. single or double,

1 Wenman, 2 Kenny (gardener to Lady Mary Cooke), 3 Blyth. There were no specimen pot ferns shown.

Cut blooms, 24 varieties, in-curved and Japanese,

1 Harrison (Sheffield), 2 .J.D. Ellis (Thurnsce Hall), 3 Wenman.

Reflexed lame flowering (not less than nine varieties., 1 Blyth,   2. Wenman.

Anemone (large flowering). 1 Wenman, 2 Blyth.

Wreath of chrysanthemums, 1 Kenny, 2 Blyth, 3 Meggitt.

Bouquet of chrysanthemums, 1 Kenny, 2 Meggitt, 3 Blyth.

Button-hole boquet, 1 Ellis, 2 Blyth, 3 Kenny.

Local Classes

Cut blooms, gentleman’s class, in-curved and Japanese (12), 1 Wenman. 2 Blyth, 3 Kenny.

Pompones. 1 P. Crawshaw (Warmsworth), 2 Blyth.

Anemones, 1 Wenman, 2 Crawshaw.

Reflexed, 1 Wenman. 2 Blyth, 3 Crawshaw.

Pot plants, In-curved, Japanese and Pompones.


Pot plants, Incurred, Japanese and Pompones dissimilar. Mr. Blyth secured all these first prizes ; as there were no seconds and thirds won.

Amateur’s Classes.

In curved and Japanese, 1 Meggitt. 2 Twibey. ‘

These gentlemen also secured the first and second prizes respectively for pompones and anemones.

For reflexed (12). Twibey secured the first and Meggitt the second prize.

Pot Plants. Mr. Meggitt secured the firsts for incurved and pompones, Mr. Twibey the seconds. and Mr. Twibey won the first for Japanese, and Mr. Meggitt the second.

One specimen pot plant (Japanese). 1 Myth, 2 Meggitt. Ditto. incurved, 1 Meggitt, 2 Birth.

Boquet of chrysanthemums. 1 (gent’s class) Kenny; Ditto(amateurs), Meggitt. seconds Blyth and Twibey.

Three button-hole boquet. Ellis. Crawshaw. Blyth (gent’s class), and Meggitt in the amateur class.

In connection with the show a miscellaneous concert was given in the evening, conducted by Mr. J. K. Bateson, the room being crowded in every part and many could not gain admission. The band rendered the gavotte. ” Le Charine,”and the selection ” Dorothy.” with great taste, and the fantasia ” Gipsy life.” was a great treat.

Miss Holmes sang “Stories” in her usual style, also rendering – The scent of the roses” very creditably.

The children in their action song and “Merrily sped the mill wheel” were well received and had encores been allowed would have had to repeat, their rendering reflecting the greatest credit on their conductor.

Mr. Wildes violin solos. “Il Trovatore” and ” Carman ” were well rendered.

Miss Braid excelled in her recitations, “Mary, Queen of ‘Scots.” and ” “How I puzzled the interviewer ” The adult choir rendered their part songs ” Don’t fret’ and ” Forest echoes ” admirably.

Miss Bateson, in her first song, “Happy days ” scored a great success, but her rendering of “Ora Pro Nobis” fairly brought down the house, her singing of it being all that could be desired.

The instrumental trios by Messrs. Reasbeck, Venus, and Sharp ” Seranade ” and ” Concertino ” were a musical treat.

Miss Min’s two songs “All hallow’s e’en ” and  “ Venezia ” were given with great care and much taste, and she was well received.

Messrs. R. H. Sharp and Geo. Bateson filled the post of accompanists, and both deserve a word of praise.