THOUGH eleven people attended the 2009 AGM of the Long Marston and Puttenham Horticultural Society on 13th January, that is a very small group when you consider the breadth of activities the Society organises for these villages. The main message from outgoing chairman David Severs was that this dwindling group was in urgent need of reinforcements. Possibly the title of the Society is discouraging people coming forward to help – it may not be appreciated by newer villagers that the organisation’s remit has long ago diversified from horticulture.

These days the Society organises a programme of social activities for the villages which include the Pantomime, the Long Marston Show, a children’s bike ride, the Summer Ball and carols around the Christmas tree. All of these events are hugely popular and make a big difference to life in this area. The ‘Horti’ also gives financial assistance to other local organisations, and this includes sponsorship of Village News with an annual grant.

John Kaye is chairman for 2009, and he stressed that volunteer helpers did not have to join a ‘committee’ and spend their evenings at meetings. What is needed is for people to come forward to join working teams to stage an individual event or help on the day. All offers of help are welcome and it is not necessary to be a gardener at all. If you can assist you can contact John via the Horti email address: lmphs@yahoo.co.uk or by phone 01296 662975.

Some dates for events in 2009 which were confirmed at the
meeting are:

Panto “Beauty and the Beast”: 19th to 21st February
Summer Ball: Saturday 16th May
Children’s bike ride: Sunday 7th June
Long Marston Show: Saturday 1st August.

Colette Bernard is standing down from the committee this year after making a huge contribution over a considerable number of years. All agreed that she would be greatly missed. Vicky Hayes takes on the post of Treasurer in her place. Gillie Russell- Mann and Margaret Kaye will jointly be show secretary, David Severs is events manager and Oliver Matthews takes on publicity.