"It is quite time a Begonia Society should be formed. There can
be no question about the success. The Society should have several shows
a year, under auspices which would bring lovers of this flower together,
and influence their friends to become growers. They could not withstand
the inducement, ocular demonstration of the beauty, and advantages this
flower has over all others for decoration as well as bedding".
C.A.Farini wrote the
above in his book published in 1895, but it was over 50 years later that
the first seeds were born.
1945 a Mr Burgess
visited a Mr Simpson and on seeing the magnificent display of begonias
in the latter's greenhouse in Birmingham suggested that they form a
society ( he was probably not aware that The Scottish Begonia Society
had been formed a few years previously). The idea slowly gained impetus
and in 1948 an inaugural meeting was held, it was agreed that the
Society should be known as THE NATIONAL BEGONIA SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND
WALES. Mr L.A.Simpson was appointed Chairman and Mr F.Burgess
Secretary/Treasurer. The annual subscription was set at 10/6d. Later
that year Mr F.J.Bedson was appointed as the Society's first President,
Mr Burgess resigned and Mr Simpson was appointed Secretary.
1949 The first Annual
General Meeting was held at the R.H.S rooms London, membership was
reported at 76. That same year Mr Simpson staged a group of begonias at
the City of Birmingham Show. An enrolment form was completed by a Mr F.J.
Martin - this gentleman was to play a major part in the Society's
activities for many years to come.
1950 Mr Bedson resigned
as President and was superseded by Mr M.W.Beer. Mr J.Woolman.VMH
appointed Chairman. The first Annual Show was held in September, at the
City of Birmingham Show. Membership stood at 108.
Mr W.Hudson organised a decorated advisory bureau at the Southport Show,
and continued to do so for over 25 years.
1951 Mr Bedson produced
the first multi-paged bulletin (single sheet newsletters had been
produced prior to this).
1956 Mr Martin appointed
1957 Mr Simpson appointed
1959 Title of the Society
changed to THE BRITISH BEGONIA SOCIETY. This resulted in a protest from
The Scottish Begonia Society and in 1960 THE NATIONAL BEGONIA SOCIETY
1960 Membership 352.
1961 Mr Martin awarded
1962 The Society's first
Annual Show in London.
1966 Annual subscription
raised to 12/6d. Membership 493.
1969 At the 20th Annual
National Show 258 pots and 333 cut blooms were exhibited. Membership
1973 The first Annual
Show at Southsea. Annual Subscription raised to £1.
Secretary/Treasurer Mr F.J. Martin passed away. Membership 1250.
1976 Dr E.Catterall
appointed Secretary. Subs. raised to £1.50
1979 Membership 883.
1984 Mr V.A.Spurr
1990 Membership 900
1991 The City of
Ballaarat in South Australia donated their first special award to the
Society for the best un-named new variety submitted by an amateur .
First award presented to Mr J.Allely for his seedling named "Yellow
Elegance"This award is different each year and retained by the winner.
1993 Subs. raised to £3.
1995 Subs. raised to £5.
1996 Dr Catterall passed
away. Mr C.Nicklin appointed Secretary. Subs raised to £6. Membership
1998 Mr C Welsh appointed
Chairman. Mr Spurr awarded Gold Medal.
1999 Subs. raised to
2000 Mr M Webb appointed
2002 Mr A Harris
2011 Subs raised to £15
George Rushforth, Derek L Telford & Brian Simmons awarded Gold Medals.
2012: J.Rhodes elected Chairman.
2012: D.Staines elected Vice Chairman.
2012: G.Rushforth appointed Central Area Rep.
2012: D.Staines awarded the Society Silver Medal of Honour.
2012: M.N.Webb awarded the Society Gold Medal of Honour.