Club History

Club History

On the 16th April 1957 the Bradford Flower Club was formed by Pam Bannister and Peggy Greenough with a membership of 34. They placed an advertisement in the local paper the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, informed Shipley College classes which the council had now closed and invited friends from the Ladies’ Circle.

The first meeting in 1957 was held in Church House on North Parade, and was attended by a young man, George Smith, who gave a demonstration and soon joined Bradford Flower Club. George Smith, MBE has been recognised for his services to flower arranging, and is also a NAFAS Special Associate of Honour.

From these small beginnings, Pam became an Area Demonstrator, Peggy was the first member from Bradford to become Area Chair and went on to become 2nd National Vice Chair.

In May 1959 Peggy, Pam and Pat Furby (now Wiley) represented the Area at Chelsea.

Our first Annual Dinner was held on 13 March 1961 at which George Smith was the demonstrator and also attended by the Lady Mayoress.

Since these dates the club has grown from strength to strength, meeting at various venues throughout the Bradford area with its current home at Haworth Road Methodist Church. Many of our members have progressed to Area and National level as Committee members, Demonstrators and Judges. It still has its Annual Dinner and The Lady Mayoress is now a Patron of the Bradford Flower Club and still attends the dinner and one or two special demonstrations through the year.

In 2007 the club celebrated its 50th and Golden year and had many special events and the Dinner welcomed back many past members and guests to celebrate and reminisce with current members. The Clubs meeting on the 16th April 2012 will start our Emmerald Year and will see the Club once again having a full year of varied demonstrations, talks and many other fun filled events.

The Bradford Flower Club Chairs from 1957 to Present

1957 – 1959                          Peggy Greenough

1959 – 1961                          Pam Bannister

1961 – 1963                          Elena Raistrick

1963 – 1965                          Mary Scott

1965 – 1966                          Irene Bentham

1966 – 1967                          Dorothy Maiden

1967 – 1969                         Ethel Butterfield

1969 – 1970                         Daisy Bottomley

1970 – 1971                         Mary Scott

1971 – 1973                         Shirley Sharp

1973 – 1974                         Joan Coldron

1974 – 1976                         Molly Shepherd

1976 – 1978                         Beryl Greenwood

1978 – 1980                         Muriel Spencer- Willcock

1980 – 1982                         June Oddy

1982 – 1984                         Joan Davy

1984                                     Audrey Howlett

1984 – 1987                         Christine Roberts

1987 – 1989                         Sheila Rawnsley

1989 – 1991                         Bessie Wilson

1991 – 1993                         Sheila Clarke

1993 – 1995                         Sheila Boyes

1995 – 1997                         Norma Dobney

1997 – 1999                         Joyce Bonham

1999 – 2001                         Gwyneth Priestley

2001 – 2003                         Doreen Hodgson

2003 – 2005                         Sheila Clarke

2005 – 2007                         Sheila Boyes

2007 – 2009                        Gwyneth Priestley

2009 – 2014                          Yvonne Coppin

2014 –  2017                          Sandra Woodhouse

2017 –                                     Yvonne Coppin

Some of the Venues the Bradford Flower Club has met at:

Church House on North Parade in 1957. The next record we have is that in 1963 the club was meeting at the Mechanics Institute. The Club remained here until September 1967 when it moved to the New Library Theatre for the first time under the Chair of Mrs Butterfield.

The 23rd of April 1990 saw the first meeting at the Abundant Life Church under the leadership of Bessie Wilson and it met there until the 21st March 1994 when the club moved to the Pennington Midland Hotel with Sheila Boyes as Chair person.

Under the Chair of Norma Dobney whilst celebrating its 40th year the club moved to Lowfields Middle Scholl Fenby Avenue off Wakefield Road on the 21st April 1997. Here it remained until the 15th September 2003 when Sheila Clark negotiated a move to its current location at Haworth Road Methodist Church as it took the venue over from Heaton Flower Club.

In 2010 under the Chair of Yvonne Coppin, Bradford Flower Club was awarded an Awards for All Lottery Grant.  This enabled the club during 2010 to carry out a series of events.  These included:

Workshops – 2 for club members and 3 community based.
Visits – We have made 2 club visits to gardens: Arley Hall and Littlethorpe Manor, near Ripon.
Flower Festival – 20 of our members were involved in staging a flower festival at St Peter’s Church, Allerton.
Technology – we were able to have our own web site created, purchased new microphone equipment and a large photo screen to display our club photos.
Photographic Competition – the Club held its first photo competition