Chinnor Flower and Produce Show

An annual event in Chinnor over August Bank Holiday week-end.  Competition is rife and the village turns out in force to see the results of all the competitors efforts over the growing season. The range of categories is vast and everyone and anyone can enter. 

Part 1 of the story

Our first event was held in the grounds of the old Chinnor Rectory on 10 August 1910, in the area that is now the residential road called Rectory Meadow.

Shows like this had become a popular Edwardian pursuit around the country. They were encouraged by the local gentry and the clergy, who could provide both prizes and a field for the marquee and sideshows. Although some classes have changed over the years, these shows also included many non-horticultural classes much like today.

We still have the minute book from that period showing the very large committee and the meetings they had leading up to the first Show. It was the Rector of Chinnor, the Rev.L. Baldwyn, who called the first meeting and acted as Chairman. Also on the committee was the Rector of Emmington, the Congregational Church Pastor, a local JP and about 15 land-owning gentlemen and farmers as well as some tradesmen including the landlord of the Kings Head.

The allotment movement was in full swing in Chinnor so working people now had some land of their own to grow vegetables and flowers. With the increase in popularity of dahlias and chrysanthemums, and considering the harvest time for vegetables like potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions, the best time to have a show was in August or September. Our first shows were held in early August as that is when the Bank Holiday was in those days.
The attendance at the very first show was estimated to have been over a thousand people, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Chinnor at that time!

The minute book records the Show –
“The weather was fine and everyone seemed to enjoy the pleasant afternoon and evening. The day seemed to mark a new departure in the history of Chinnor. Bowling for the pig was very popular and the display of the Boy Scouts under Scoutmaster Cecil Fleming Baldwyn as also the Sports were much appreciated. The evening concluded with dancing to the strains of the Thame Band”

Visit the Chinnor Flower and Produce Show website where the story continues