1924 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

The 1924 show was held from 27th to 29th May inclusive and the firm must have been so delighted with their 1923 plot that they wrote to the Mr. Dykes, the RHS Secretary on 27th February sending their £5 deposit and asking for the same plot as the previous year. So determined were they to have this plot that they even went across to the RHS headquarters in Vincent Square, Westminster[1] to enquire about the allocation, just over a week before the plots were formally allocated on 25th March. They even repeated the visit a day or so before the allocation date so as to reemphasise their wish to have the same plot, as one London-based employee put it “we cannot do more”. The pressure obviously worked because they were indeed offered the same 40ft. by 30ft. plot, albeit it was known as plot I and described as on the west side of the Main Avenue, together with an increase price of £40.

The basic stand layout had now become established and broadly set the pattern for the coming shows. Whilst the type and models of the various products displayed was also now established they varied in detail from year to year. In 1924 they displayed two greenhouses, one with a pit frame to one side and the other a 12ft. by 8ft. amateur span-roof model, which was sold to a Mr. Spencer of Leicester. They only took two Quorn boilers (Nos. 34 and 46) compared with three the previous year. They sold a number of their exhibits at the show including a No. 226 span-roof frame with 4 lights to Mrs. Fitton of Petersfield; two No. 228 plant protectors one 12ft. by 7ft. with 6 lights to Mrs. Hickman of Wolverhampton and the other 8ft. by 7ft. to J. Neville Cross of Chilworth; F.3 frame to the Marchioness of Breadalbane; F.12 frame to Mrs. Nicholson of Five Ashes, East Sussex).

The stand was set-up by Charles Wightman, J. Johnson L. Graham and E. Miles. The first three had previously been working at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley Park, assembling a 40ft. by 20ft. span-roof greenhouse with a partition and lobby, consigned to Honorary Commission General at the Ceylon Pavilion[2]. Mr. Miles had just completed erecting a 25ft. by 12ft. span-roof greenhouse for Miss Bradford, of the Dower House, Chawton, Hampshire[3]. The team started erecting the Chelsea stand and assembling the exhibits on Friday 16th May. Following the dismantling, packing and dispatch at the end of the show Charles. Wightman and L. Graham travelled straight onto Mr. H.W. Symondson of Woodside, South Hill Park, Bromley, Kent where they erected a 13ft. by 10ft. summer house and repaired an existing span-roofed house.


  1. Which was not far from the firm’s London Offices.
  2. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE2121/51.
  3. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE2121/51.