A Certain Lack of Trust!

The first Long Marston and Puttenham Village Show was held in August 1936. The dominant theme for this first event was the vegetables and flowers competitions with 46 different categories plus 2 more for children.

The chosen venue was Long Marston School and one of the main organisers was Gordon Savage, recently appointed Headmaster, well known for his stern discipline. The school influence perhaps had an impact on the content of the published programme, with the first two pages devoted to detailed rules which showed signs of autocracy, discipline and some lack of trust in the villagers, for example:

‘Anyone attempting to gain a prize by unfair means will be excluded from the benefits of the Society for 3 years’.


‘The Committee will have the right to inspect Exhibitors’ Gardens’


‘Any exhibitor who desires to enter a protest shall do so in writing and deliver to the Secretary by 5pm on the day of the show. A fee of one shilling shall be paid, only refundable if the protest is upheld’. (To help understanding of relative values, one pound sterling in 1936 is, according to the Bank of England, around £90 today so one shilling is equivalent to £4.50 today).

Allotment gardens are still inspected today, but not to ‘weed’ out those trying to cheat, but for the best kept garden prize.

These rules were discovered as part of Research into the history of the Horti Village Society which will, during this year, be published on our website and probably more widely.

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