‘The Inaugural Meeting of an Ampleforth Gardening Club took place at 7.30pm on the 31st of October 1985 attended by some 20 persons and Chaired by Mr R Bramhall. The meeting unanimously agreed that a club to be called Ampleforth and District Gardening Club should be formed and that the annual subscription of £2.00 was agreed. All attending the Meeting agreed to join.’ (Taken from the Minutes of the meeting signed by R.Bramhall)

A follow-up meeting on the 11th November 1985 agreed that Mr Bramhall be the Chair for the year, that a Mrs Weld be the Secretary and that a Mr J Green be the Treasurer (John Green remained Treasurer for many years). The Programme for the year was agreed to be linked topics of a current Gardening Course under Mr Kinnes of R V Roger’s (of Pickering).

The first AGM of the club took place on the 11th November 1986 in Ampleforth Village Hall.

It commenced with ‘A Medley of Flowers’ – a musical sequence of colour shots from English Gardens presented by Bill and Joan Spence.

The Financial Report (summary) for the 1st year of the Ampleforth and District Gardening Club was:

Hire of Village Hall19.50Annual subscriptions48.00
Expenses (tea and biscuits)3.00Plant Sale93.00
Balance £109.40 (Compare this with our latest Treasurer’s end of year accounts)

Over the intervening 34 years to the present Ampleforth and District Gardening Club has grown in membership to 80+ and John Green, the Club’s first Treasurer is still a staunch member. Many current members will remember the late John Webb who was Chairman from 1987- 1991 and many others who have served the club in a leadership role over the years. Many members have given time and effort as Committee members into maintaining a high standard of speakers, garden visits and its annual Plant Sale. Members have also enjoyed the club’s friendly and convivial atmosphere at the Annual Festive Lunch held in January at various local venues.

With your preparedness to be a member of Ampleforth and District Gardening Club or a Committee member, the club will flourish for at least the next 34 years.