Local History Society

 Memories - Cottage Garden Show, 1936

The Cottage Garden Show, 1939

The Cottage Garden Show, 1930

The Three Villages Show, 1931


This article is typical of the reports of shows from the 1930s. Containing a huge amount of detail but packed into a single column, it was difficult to read. However, the families who took part no doubt sought their names among the lists. This article appeared in the 'Reading Mercury' of 15th August 1936 along with a few photographs. 

The image shown below formed the front page of a supplement to a national farming magazine, with this now-unacceptable caption:


Popularity of Show


Favoured by brilliant sunshine, the Newland, Arborfield and Barkham Cottage Garden Society's show at the Remount Depot, Arborfield , attracted a record crowd on Saturday [8th August]. It was the 13th annual show of the society, and some of the members were on the original committee.

The entries, including nearly 300 in the pony events, totalled over 600, and constituted a record. In the horticulture section, onions and potatoes were outstanding; sweet peas and table decorations were good. A feature was the enterprise of the school children.

The judges were:

Mr. A. E. Barnes (horticultural instructor, Berks C.C.), and
Mr. A. C. Blackwell, of Winnersh Nurseries (horticultural),
Miss Lina Simonds (boys' handwork),
Miss L. Simonds, Mrs. Hart and Miss Lloyd (needlework),
Mrs. Scott-Murray (table decoration),
Mr. A. Barker (boys' woodwork),
Mr. Will Hooley (eggs and poultry),
Miss Wilton and Mr. C. Pigg (cookery and domestic classes),
Miss Stiles and Miss Elizabeth Simonds (drawings and paintings).

The Show Officials

Mrs. Sturges is the president of the society, with Mr. John H. Simonds, Mrs. Simonds, Mrs. Williamson , Mrs. Prescott and Miss Jervoise vice-presidents.

The committee responsible for the organisation was Captain C. Hart (chairman), Miss Lloyd (vice-chairman), Messrs. F. Armstrong, P. Ayres, C. Bringloe, A. J. Bentley, S. G. Bentley, F. Barker, N. C. S. Bone, E. Cordery, S. Cook, W. B. Cox, A. Edwards, M. Goddard, W. C. Grant, W. Hooley, J. Hunt, A. H. Inglis, A. F. Jones, E. O. Jones, B. Kent, A. Lyford, E. Love, A. Martin, R. J. Middleton, jun., C. H. Steele, J. Sommerville, W. Scott, T. H. Windsor, W. White, Mesdames Anderson, A. J. Bentley, Guy Bentley, Hart, Hooley, Hunt, Jones, Kent, Scott and Smith.

Great credit is also reflected to the hon. secretary, Mr. W. J. Verrall , who was carrying out those duties for the tenth time. He was supported by another stalwart of the society, Mr. A. Barker, who acted as hon. treasurer.

Much of the success of Arborfield Show is due to the untiring efforts of Mrs. J. H. Simonds, who again arranged the children's pony classes and mounted gymkhana events for children. She was ably assisted by Miss Stiles. This year there was an unusual novelty, a class for the dog like its owner, and the premier award was given to Miss A. Seth Smith, of Upton Grey, Basingstoke, who exhibited a Yorkshire terrier.

The fancy dress event was again popular. The judges for the various classes were: Miss Effie Barker, M.F.H., Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Male, Mr. and Mrs. C. Payne, Mr. Sam Marsh, Dr. G. Halpin and Miss Tanqueray.

There was also a good programme of sports. Side-shows and roundabouts and competitions attracted the attention of many.

The Results

Division A
- Cottagers Only

Collections of vegetables: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, E. Cordery; 3, W. Scott.
Beans, dwarf French: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, W. White, 3, E. Cordery.
Ditto, runner: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, E. Cordery; 3, F. M. Barker.
Beet, turnip: 1, W. Streak; 2, T. H. Windsor.
Caulifowers: 1, E. Cordery.
Cabbage: 1, E. Cordery; 2, W. Streak; 3, R. J. Middleton, jun.
Long carrots: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, W. Scott; 3, R. Middleton, jun.
Short carrots: 1, W. Streak; 2, T. H. Windsor; 3, W. Scott.
Cos lettuce: 1, C. H. Steele, 2, B. Kent; 3, E. Cordery.
Onions: 1, R. J. Middleton, jun.; 2, C. H. Steele; 3, E. Cordery.
Peas: 1, C. Steele; 2, E. Cordery; 3, R. J. Middleton, jun.; h.c. [highly commended] W. Streak.
Potatoes, white kidney: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, E. Cordery; 3, W. White.
Ditto, white round: 1, R. J. Middleton, jun.; 2, E. Cordery; 3, T. H. Windsor.
Ditto, coloured: 1, C. H. Steele; 2, W. Streak; 3, W. Scott.
Rhubarb: 1, C. H. Steele; 2, E. Cordery.
Shallots: 1, W. Streak, 2, T. H. Windsor; 3, F. M. Barker.
Vegetable marrows: 1, E. Neville; 2: C. Bringloe; 3, C. H. Steele.
Collection of herbs: 1, T. H. Windsor; 2, E. Cordery.


Garden flowers: 1, E. Neville; 2, C. H. Steele; 3, F. H. Hunt; h.c. [highly commended] E. Cordery.
Roses: 1, C. H. Steele; 2, W. C. Grant; 3, F. M. Barker.
Geraniums: 1, C. H. Steele; 2, E. Cordery; 3, R. Middleton, sen.
Bouquet of garden flowers: 1, E. Cordery; 2, W. Scott; 3, W. White; 4, E. Neville.
Sweet peas: 1, C. H. Steele; 2, F. H. Hunt; 3, J. Druett.
Stocks: 1, E. Cordery; 2, C. H. Steele; 3, W. Scott.
Fruit Apples, culinary: 1, W. C. Grant; 2, C. H. Steele; 3, A. Edwards.
Apples, dessert: 1, C. Bringloe; 2, F. M. Barker; 3, W. C. Grant.
White gooseberries: 1, W. Scott; 2, E. Neville.
Red gooseberries: 1, E. Neville; 2, W. White.
Three dishes of fruit: 1, A. Edwards; 2, R. Middleton, sen.; 3, S. G. Bentley.
Plums: 1, R. Middleton, sen.; 2, E. Cordery; 3, T. H. Windsor.

- Cottagers Not Winning More than 10s. in Division A Last Year

Collection of vegetables: 1, S. G. Bentley; 2, R. Middleton, sen.
Runner beans: 1, P. Ayres; 2, S. G. Bentley; 3, F. Middleton.
Beet: 1, A. Edwards; 2, P. Ayres; 3, B. Kent.
Cabbage: 1, P. Ayres; 2, T. A. Browne; 3, F. Middleton.
Carrots: 1, A. Edwards; 2, T. A. Browne; 3, P. Ayres.
Cos lettuce: 1, B. Kent; 2, B. Middleton, sen.
Onions: 1, S. G. Bentley; 2, W. Streak; 3, A. Edwards.
Peas: 1, P. Ayres; 2, B. Kent; 3, C. Bringloe.
Potatoes, kidney: 1, T. A. Browne; 2, C. Bringloe; 3, J. Hayward.
Potatoes, round: 1, C. Bringloe; 2, W. Streak; 3, W. Wheeler.
Shallots: 1, W. Streak; 2, A. Edwards; 3, P. Ayres.
Marrows: 1, J. Hayward; 2, C. Bringloe; 3, R. Middleton, sen.
Vase of garden flowers: 1, W. Streak; 2, S. G. Bentley; 3, P. Ayres.


Boiled potatoes: 1, Mrs. C. Bringloe; 2, Mrs. E. Cordery; 3, Mrs. B. Kent.
Baked custard: 1, Mrs. A. Edwards; 2, Mrs. F. Middleton; 3, Mrs. A. F. Jones.
Home-made jam: 1, Mrs. E. Cordery; 2, Mrs. E. L. Bentley; 3, Mrs. F. H. Hunt; 4, Mrs. Druett.
Home-made seed cake: 1, Mrs. M. Cox; 2, Mrs. Druett; 3, Mrs. Flower.
Home-made fruit cake: 1, Mrs. B. Kent; 2, Mrs. F. M. Barker; 3, Mrs. W. White.
Sausage rolls: 1, Mrs. Flower; 2, Mrs. M. Cox; 3, Mrs. Luxton.
Ginger cake: 1, Mrs. W. White; 2, Mrs. B. Kent; 3, Mrs. Flower.
Hens' eggs, brown: 1, R. J. Middleton, jun.; 2, E. Cordery.
Ditto, white: 1, R. J. Middleton; 2, S. Cook; 3, C. H. Steele.
Ditto, tinted: 1, S. Cook; 2, A. Edwards; 3, E. Cordery.
Fowl, trussed for table: 1, S. Cook; 2, E. Cordery; 3, B. Kent.


Hand-made frock for small child: 1, Miss E. Barker; 2, Mrs. R. Middleton, sen.; 3, Mrs. B. Kent.
Ladies' summer dress, machine made: 1, Mrs. Scott; 2, Mrs. B. Kent; 3, Mrs. R. Middleton, sen.
Knitted cardigan or jumper: 1, Miss L. Windsor; 2, Mrs. C. Bringloe.

Schoolchildren's Classes

Plain nightdress: 1, R. Strong; 2, M. Nailor; 3, D. Bennett.
Pillow case: 1, G. Davis; 2, M. Luxton; 3 (tie): P. Cordery and B. May.
Child's knitted vest : 1, G. Davis; 2, J. Barkus; 3, J. Bush.
Boy's socks: 1, P. Cordery; 2, D. Bennett; 3, M. Nailor.
Bouquets of wild flowers and grasses: 1, J. Leadbetter; 2, M. Nailor; 3, B. Day; 4, P. Cordery.
Drawing: 1, A. Bush; 2, R. Read; 3, P. Cordery; special, V. Salisbury.
Colour, pastel or water colour: 1, W. Barkus; 2, R. Cordery; 3, C. Cooper; 4, F. Wilson.
Wood or cardboard model: 1, A. Bush; 2, A. Day; 3, C. Clark.
Cane or sea-grass seating: 1, C. Clark and M. Hunt; 2, A. Day and L. Sharp; 3, C. Clark and W. Streak; 4, R. Cordery.
Sweet peas: 1, J. M. Grant; 2, B. May; 3, Q. Butler.

Lady Members

Floral table decoration: 1, Mrs. A. F. Jones; 2, Mrs. E. Simonds; 3, Mrs. Prescott; 4, Mrs. S. G. Bentley; 5, Mrs. Kent.

Mr. C. H. Steele won the "Williamson" Cup for obtaining the largest aggregate of points for flowers for the third year in succession. Mr. E. Cordery won the silver championship medal for the largest aggregate of points (54), and a bronze medal was awarded to Mr. C. H. Steele for the second largest aggregate (45). Certificates of merit were obtained by T. H. Windsor and P. Ayres.

Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Jones were in charge of the ladies' bowling, which was won by Mrs. Hopwood. Mr. A. Edwards supervised the bowling for a pig, won by Mr. F. Coles, of Bear Wood.

A novel competition was guessing the weight of a horse. Mr. Frank Barker won a prize for guessing its weight: 10 cwt. 42 lbs.

The Sports

Captain C. Hart organised the sports and was assisted by Messrs. A. B. Inglis, W. Cox, S. Bennett, E. Cordery. W. R. Cox and R. J. Middleton, jun.

The results -

Girls, under 10: 1, J. Barker; 2, Q. Butler; 3, P. Ings.
Girls, 10-14: 1, J. Barkus; 2, M. Windsor; 3, Lily Dicker.
Boys, under 10: 1, H. Cox; 2, W. Streak; 3, A. Barkus.
Boys, 10-14 : 1, A. Peters; 2, H. Wallace; 3, P. Jeffries.
Children, under 5: 1, D. Gibbard; 2, F. Barker; 3, G. Main.
Ladies: 15-30: 1, H. Peters; 2, Miss M. Jones; 3, Miss M. Potter.
Married ladies, over 30: 1, Mrs. Coles; 2, Mrs. Murrell; 3, Mrs. Simonds.
Ladies' egg and spoon race: 1, Mrs. Jones; 2, Mrs. Murrell; 3, Mrs. Simonds.
Gentlemen's 100 yards: 1, Mr. Charlton; 2, Mr. F. Stokes; 3, Mr. W. Hayward.
Veterans' race: 1, Mr. Hawkins; 2, Mr. W. White; 3, Mr. Hayward.
Musical chairs: 1, C. Nailor; 2, F. Charlton; 3, A. Inglis.
Tilting the bucket: 1, H. Woolford and A. Allaway; 2, E. Cordery and E. Neville; 3, E. and W. Middleton.

The Gymkhana

Best child's pony (not exceeding 14.3 hands, rider not over 16): 1, Miss S. Phillips; 2, Miss E. Gardner; 3, Miss S. Muir.
Child's pony (not exceeding 13.1 hands, rider not over 12): 1, Joe Weatherill; 2, Joan Phillips; 3, Miss M. Allfrey.
Jumping: 1 and 3, Phillip Gardner; 2, Miss P. A. Angier; 4, Miss P. Ranger.
Special prize for children of 13 years or under : David Angier.
Special prize for Garth Hunt Pony Club members: Conrad Williamson.
Small dog: 1, Mrs. Sturges; 2, Miss M. Somerset; 3, Miss E. Barker.
Dog most resembling exhibitor: 1, Miss Seth Smith; 2: Miss S. Middleton; 3: Miss M. Storey.
Surprise event: 1, Miss Seth Smith; 2, Mr. Pat Simonds.
Fancy dress parade: 1, Mrs. Crocker and party (Coster's cart); 2, William Muir (General); 3, Miss S. Lewis (Highwayman); 4, Mrs. Simonds ("Learner").
Local prize: Mr. Bringloe.
Bicycle prize: Miss Drewitt.
Musical chairs (in fancy dress): 1, Miss P. Alice; 2, Miss C. Black.
Musical chairs: 1, Miss P. Alice; 2, Miss R. Gardner; 3, Miss I. Forbes (Wendy).
Button race: 1, Miss P. Ranger; 2, Miss M. Somerset; 3, Michael Russell.
Apple bobbing: 1, Miss E. Muir; 2, Miss P. Ranger; 3, Miss A. Jacob.

(On a different page, under the village heading 'ARBORFIELD'):

NOVELTIES OF THE SHOW: - At the Newland, Arborfield and Barkham Show, altogether there were 271 entries in the pony classes, which is a record.

A correspondent writes:-

The class for dogs most resembling the exhibitor was a new class, and caused much amusement. The fancy dress parade caused most stir round the ringside. Mrs. Simonds, herself an able rider, dressed and rode as a learner. Then there was Mrs. Crocker's band of gypsies, which gained the first prize, and Mr. Bringloe's goats pulling the caravan named the "Wanderers", securing the local prize. Joan Hart, with her donkey, as an exact replica of "Peg of Drury lane". Miss Drewitt had decorated her bicycle to look like the rainbow, and Miss Stiles, as a burly policeman, conducted her little black dog, who was a learner on a bicycle, while her sister was a Victorian lady on a bicycle, and hence afraid of modern traffic.

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