Village Hall in Houghton, Lancashire
Houghton Flower Guild had its inaugural meeting at West Mains on 12th December 1969, when 'upwards of thirty members' were present. Miss Cullen welcomed everyone and outlined the formation of the Flower Club. These words were part of the first committee notes of the Houghton Flower Guild. The meetings were to be held on the second Thursday of each month and the annual subscription was the princely sum of £1 with visitors paying 3 shillings (15p).
In January 1970 the first Flower Guild meeting was held, during which an interesting demonstration entitled ‘The First Steps of Flower Arranging’ was given by Mrs Schooling of Etterby Scaur.
The Guild continued to flourish and celebrated its 25th Anniversary in October 1994, when it held a buffet supper followed by a talk entitled ‘Wicked Ladies’, by Mrs Margaret Wilson. Since then it has celebrated its 30th & 35th 40th Anniversaries and most recently its 45th Anniversary in October 2014 when we all had a lovely meal at the Shepherds Inn and Derek Armstrong entertained the Guild with a demonstration.
The Guild takes part in Flower Festivals and other events with several members entering competitions, often with notable success. It is lucky to have two NAFAS area demonstrators, these being Lynda Fraser and Carol Grieves. In November 2007 four members, led and guided by Lynda exhibited at the Flower Festival in Mirehouse, Cumbria.
The Flower Guild still meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Village Hall in Houghton and is lucky to have such a warm and comfortable venue for its meetings. There are different demonstrators each month, many of whom are highly qualified florists, NAFAS demonstrators, designers and teachers. Following the demonstration the floral designs are raffled and the evening rounded off with tea, coffee and biscuits and the chance to catch-up on local village gossip. Several of our members travel from many of the outlying areas of Houghton to join out meetings.
Each year the Guild has a Garden Visit and twice a year there is a Guest Night when an open Flower Arrangement Competition is held. The successful competitors receive their trophies at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in the Village Hall each November.
We strongly stress that members and visitors do not have to be a flower arranger to join the Guild. In fact many of the members simply come along to enjoy the social side of the evening and to watch a flower demonstration. So, if you enjoy meeting people a warm welcome awaits you. As a special note for gentlemen, please don't think flower arranging is just for ladies, as many of our top demonstrators are gents, so the Guild would love to see you.
Unfortunately the Guild's annual subscription has had to be increased over the years from the original £1 due to the rising costs of living!