St Ives Flower Show 1877

Here are two reports of the St Ives Flower show held in 1877, as published in the Hunts Guardian & East Midland Spectator dated 28 July and 4 August 1877. You can read a history of the show and access all the links for newspaper articles and other information about the show at Allotment Heaven: St Ives Flower Show from 1876.

If you are doing a family history search and are interested if your ancestor's surname appears as a prizewinner, just search for their surname within this page. Because spellings sometimes vary it might be worthwhile using the first few characters for the search. Not sure how to search within this page? For guidance click Allotment Heaven: How to find text within a web page.

28th July 1877


The Second exhibition of the Cottagers' Horticultural Society on Thursday was an immense advance upon the first. The day was beautifully fine after a threatening morning, and the ground was crowded with visitors. The show was all that could be desired in quality and competition. The prizes were distributed by the Mayoress and other ladies after a speech from the Mayor (T. Coote, Esq., J. P.), and the evening closed with one of the best displays of fireworks ever seen in St. Ives. The prize list and full details will be given in our next.

4th August 1877


The second show of the St. Ives Cottagers' Society, which we briefly summarised last week, was a most encouraging exhibition in every respect. The extension of its limits to the neighbouring villages did not swamp the town, whilst it may have added zest to the preparations of the town competitors. The exhibition has now struck root in the town, and while any successive shows can hardly excite more interest or produce a larger gathering the stimulus given will have a permanent effect in the continual efforts of cottagers to develop the producing qualities of their soils. The show itself was exceedingly good, and in the evening the attendance was very large indeed. The distribution of prizes was the great event of the evening, and conducted under the presidency of the Mayor. A very large crowd assembled round the stand at 7 o’ clock and the platform was filled with ladies, including the Mayoress who distributed the prizes.

Mr. Coote congratulated the Borough on the result of the second show. It was a considerable advance in every respect upon the last, and indicated good progress. It was marvellous in looking over the things of use and luxury shown in the tent, how much could be done by skill and industry with a few shrivelled seeds and a little earth. We called the soil on which we lived our mother earth, and a needful mother she was to them, for if but for a short period she were to refuse to give of the richness of her bosom, all created things that breathe would fade and die. The hum of life would cease and the world become a silent sepulchre. And yet the mother earth was not altogether like the mother in the flesh they will often lavish care and gifts upon their worthless children, and sometimes the most worthless seem to attract most love. Not so with mother earth. She gives her smiles only to children who work for them; but to the unworthy - the idle - the careless - she turns a barren frown of thorn & thistle, and says in language not to be mistaken, “if you will not work neither shall you eat”. Again, the human mothers are sometimes partial to some of their children without apparent reason. Sometimes the eldest born is first in their regard; sometimes the youngest is the pet, only because they are so. Not so the mother earth. She yields her blessings always alike to all her great family, knows no undue preference (SIC). To skill and industry, whoever puts it forth, she gives the same reward. Do not fancy you who are unsuccessful competitors today that you are beaten by any preference of mother earth for those who have won. Brace up your powers for another year, be more careful, skilful, and hard working than others, and you in your turn will certainly earn the same reward. Once more, the mothers in the flesh, whilst full of kindly care for their offspring, don't always give the teachings that they could. How to dress, to get a living even, is not all a mother's influence might teach; how to make life useful, to live purely, and happily, to be in harmony with virtue, honesty, and truth, are fairly mothers' teachings. Not so our mother Earth. She teaches all she can, she disciplines severely, yet healthfully, both mind and body. Work she will have, but “’tis the primal curse, but softened into mercy,” “made the pledge of cheerful days and nights without a groan.” She teaches, too, that devotion to her will bring her children luxury and pleasure, luxuries that do not enervate, and pleasures that are always pure. She gives them the luscious fruit, the lovely flowers, and so she leads them “through nature up to nature's God.”

To mark the matchless workings of the Power
Which shuts within its seed the opening flower,
Bids these in elegance of form to excel
In colour these -those to delight the smell.
Sends nature forth, the daughter of the skies
To dance on earth and charm all human eyes.

After this part of the proceedings had been completed, there was dancing to the strains of the Hunts Militia band, which lasted until dusk, and then followed the display of fireworks, which numbers, if not all, considered the best ever seen in this town, and were the gift of the Mayor, T. Coote, Esq., J.P. These were left to the management of Mr. W. Seward, of St. Ives, who spared no trouble to ensure an effective and brilliant display. He employed one of the most eminent of London houses, and with most gratifying results. For instance the shells were fired from six-inch mortars, a larger size than has yet been employed here. The set pieces were numerous and good. The Montgolfier balloon was a fine and brilliant sight, and the finale, “Good night” was enriched with a telling vase of flowers beneath. The whole display was most creditable to its conductor as it was gratifying to the vast concourse of persons present.

The numerous arrangements necessary for the success of the show were ably carried out by the committee, and especially by the Secretary, Mr. Copley, and the treasurer, Mr. Hankin.



Class 1. Twelve Kidney Potatoes: Wm Thompson, J Barnes, Geo Brown

2. Twelve Round ditto: Jos Seymour, Wm Harrison, Charles Grey

3. Four Stalks Rhubarb: Jacb Stevens, Wm Cox, Jacb Smith

4. Thirty Pods Peas: Wm Burton, Saml Chambers, J Frost, jun

5. Twenty do. Broad Beans: Geo Smith, Saml Chambers, Ed Lines

6. Twenty do. Scarlet Runners: Tom Briggs, Geo Smith, Eb Harrison

7. Twenty do. French Beans: Wm Lee, Robert Brand

8. Ten Onions (spring sown): Geo Smith, Wm Lee, Jos Seymour

9. Ten Ditto (autumn sown): Saml Newman, Amos Jeffs, S Chambers, sen

10. Two Cabbages (not Cattle): Wm Leeds, Wm Thompson, S Chambers

11. Two Cauliflowers: No entries

12. Ten Carrots: E Panter, S Chambers, Wm Lee

13. Ten Turnips: S Chambers, do sen, Wm Lee

14. Three Coss Lettuces: Wm Lee, Wm Burton. Thos Clark

15. Three Cabbage Lettuces: Jos Seymour, Eb Harrison, Sml Newman

16. Best Collection of Pot-Herbs: S Chambers, Wm Burton, Wm Shanks

17. Best Basket of Vegetables: S Chambers, Wm. Burton, Jos Seymour

18. Best Basket of Salad: S Chambers, Jos Seymour

19. Two Vegetable Marrows: Wm Geeson, S Chambers, Thos Silk

20. Two Ridge Cucumbers: Thos Silk, S Chambers

21. Best cultivated Allotment (This Prize is confined to the Borough of Saint Ives): S Chambers 10/, James Everitt 7/6, Wm Burton 5/, S Newman 2/6, Wm Cox 2/6

22. Twelve Turnip Radishes: Jos Seymour, S Chambers, Ed Panter

23. Ten Parsnips: S Chambers, S Newman, Jos Chambers


24. Three Pears: Geo Brown, Jacob Smith

25. Six Kitchen Apple: Sml Newman, W J Norris, W Shanks

26. Six Dessert ditto: Geo Skeeles, Stephen Favel, S Newman

27. Six Pums (sic): No entries

28. lb Raspberries: No entries

29. Twelve Strawberries: S Newman

30. 1/2lb Red Currants: Chas Grey, G Brown, G Williams

31. 1/21b White Currants: Chas Grey

32. 1/2lb Black Currants: S Chambers, Stephen Frost, G Brown

33. Twelve large Gooseberries: S Newman, G Williams, Wm Shanks

34. 1/2lb. Gooseberries, for flavour: Wm Shanks, S Chambers


35. One Mmulus, or Monkey Plant: Wm Denny, Jno Brown

36. Two Best Variegated Geraniums: Jos Seymour, Eliza Harrison

37. Two Zonal, or plain leaf ditto: Jos Seymourn, Wm Burton

38. Two pelargoniums: No entries

39. Two Calceolarias (yellow): No entries

40. Two ditto (various): No entries

41. One Cactus: Chas Green, W J Norris

42. Two Fuschias (various): Jos Golding, Chas Canham, Elz Harrison

43. Three Window Plants (various): Jos Bullen, S Chambers, Chas Elger

44. Two Balsams: Jacob Stevens, W Burton

45. One Basket or Hanging Plant: B S Clarke, Amos Jeffs

46. One fern: Jas Everitt

47. One Pot Musk: Jos Bullen, Thos Smith

48. One Pot Mignonette: Thos Silk. Eb Harrison

49. One Fuschia : Jas Toller

50. Best collection of Plants, not less than four (various): Eliza Harrison, Geo Brown, Amos Jeffs


51. Three Marigolds: Thcs Garner, B S Clarke

52. Two Verbenas : No entries

53. Three Carnations: T Lowings, R Lord

54. Three Picotees: No entries

55. Three Stocks: Thos Silk,Thos Garner

56. Three Sweet Williams: No entries

57. Three Phloxes: No entries

58. Three Double Zinnias : No entries

59. Three Single Zinnias: No entries

60. Three Hollyhocks : No entries

61. Best Nosegay of Garden Flowers : Geo Brown, Eliz Clark

62. Best Nosegay of Wild Flowers for girls under 15 years: Annie Robb, S A Seymour, Ruth Burdett

63. Ditto, for boys under 15 years; Jos Bowd, Thos Giddins Thos Spencer

64. Three Cut Roses : W J Norris

65. Three Dahlias: No award

66. Three Asters : No entries

67. Best Glass of honey : No entries

68. Six varieties of Cut Flowers: Jos Seymour

FOR COTTAGERS, occupiers of over One Rood of Land, the following Prizes were awarded:

Class 1. Twelve Kidney Potatoes: Chas Richards

2. Twelve Round ditto: Chas Richards

3. Thirty Pods of Peas: Chas Richards, Jno Jarvis

4. Twenty Pods of Broad Beans: Jno Jarvis

5. Twenty Pods of French ditto : No entries

6. Twenty Pods of Scarlet Runners: No entries

7. Ten Onions: Chas Richards

8. Three Cabbage Lettuces: Chas Richards

9. Three Coss Lettuces: Chas Richards

10. Best Basket of Vegetables : No entries

11. Best Basket of Salad : No entries


Class I. Canary, green: Jno Reynolds, Eb. Harrison

2. Canary, yellow: Eb Harrison

3. Canary, buff: Chas Greene, Eb Harrison

4. Canary, marked: Jos Golding, W J Norris

5. Bullfinch: Wm Harrison

6. Linnet: Wm Davies, Wm Harrison

7. Collection of Birds (any variety): Eb Harrison, Wm Harrison


Class 1. Six Carnations not more than two of each class: No entries

2. Three ditto (various): No entries

3. Six Picotees not more than two of each class: Mr Copley

4. Three ditto (various): Mr Copley

5. Six Verbenas ditto: No entries

6. Three ditto ditto: No entries

7. Six Hollyhock Blooms ditto : No entries

8. Three ditto ditto: Mr Geo Robb

9. Six German Stocks in pots or cut (various): Mr Copley

10. Three ditto ditto: Mr Copley, Mr T Knights, jun

11.Six rosesditto: Mr Copley, Mr H Goodman

12.Three dittoditto: Mr W Woods

13. Six ditto Tea and Noisette ditto: No entries

14. Three ditto ditto: Mr Woods

15. Three Fuschias ditto : Mr John Baker

16. One ditto : No entries

17. Six Zonal Geraniums ditto: No entries

18. Three ditto : Mr W W Warner

19. Collect ion of 12 Plants in pots ditto: Mrs F Battcock

20. Three Plants in bloom ditto: Mrs F Battcock

21. One ditto: Mr Thompson, Mr Baker

22. Three Best British Ferns: Mrs F Battcock, Mr Copley

23. Six Double Zinnias: Mr Copley

24. Basket of Cut Flowers not to be tied to supports: Miss Kate King, Miss Lizzie King

25. A Table Decoration consisting of one stand: Miss Kate King, Miss Hewlins

26. Hand Bouquet not exceeding 9 inches in diameter: Miss Kate King, Miss Lizzie King

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