1933 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

1933 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

The 1933 Great Spring Show was held between 24th and 26th May inclusive and as normal judging took place on the afternoon of 22nd. RHS fellows, with special permits, were admitted from 16:00 until 20:00 closing time. The general public were admitted from 12 noon on 24th. The firm was allocated a rather small space[1], measuring only 23ft. by 20ft. costing £23[2]. The site was located on the east side of Monument Road on the corner opposite the Embankment entrance. Part of the process was that exhibitors were required to submit plans for their sites in advance, so as to allow it to be vetted by the RHS. However, the plan submitted to the RHS was not the one they eventually implemented. It appears that Mr. Wightman, who had been responsible for setting up the exhibits for the last eleven years was not given a copy of the plan, therefore made up his own. There appears to have been no come back, at least none from the RHS. Due to the restricted size they were limited as to the number of exhibits they could fit into the space. In the end they decided on a 15ft. by 10ft. patent constructed span-roof greenhouse with a boarded base, wood and iron stages; a 12ft. by 8ft. amateur span-roof greenhouse with boarding under the sill, wood stages on both sides and heating apparatus (Loughborough Boiler and 4in. pipes); a No. 657 8ft. by 7ft. frame; a No. 671 6ft. by 4ft. span-roof frame; Nos. 36 and 46 Quorn Boiler; Nos. 1 and 3 Loughborough Boilers. The new improvised layout had both greenhouses with their doors facing out along the short side of site towards the Embankment, this arrangement allowed for visitors stepping directly off the path into the greenhouses. Ideally they would have liked to have had one greenhouse end on to Monument Walk and other end on towards the Embankment. There was no plan to exhibit a garden seat, although several days before the show began the team on site requested one. This was more for their benefit, whist waiting for visitors rather than to sell, although they argued the case for both.

 

1933 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)
1933 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

They only sold one span-roof frame during the show and that was purchased by Mrs. Turner of Edwalton, Nottinghamshire. As in previous years a small number of show enquiries eventually yielded orders. 1933 appears to have been the year for selling blinds, with at least four of the enquiries leading to sales. One such was from a Mr. Leslie Carter-Clout, a builder, who had just completed his new residence, known as Tudor House[3] in Chislehurst Road, Petts Green. His order four days after the show finished was extremely small, only amounting to wood lath blinds. Another enquiry that lead to an order for blinds came from Mr. Rockwood of Shadow Lawns, Chiddingfold, Surrey. A third resulted in another small purchase, for a set of blinds, measuring 14ft. 9in. long with 4ft. 3in. drop with accompanying fixtures and fitting amounted to a total sale of £4 2s. 6d, from Mr. G. Witcombe of South View, Burgh Hill, Etchingham, Sussex. A further enquiry lead to a quote of £5 13s. 6d., to Miss J.F. Harvey of No. 101, Foxley Lane, Putney, London for a set 12ft. long with an 8ft. 6in. drop, together with pulleys, etc.

 

 

References:

  1. Normally space on Monument Road was 800 sq. ft.
  2. 1s. per sq. ft.
  3. Tudor House, Petts Wood is a large house, on the corner of Birchwood Road and Chislehurst Road, built in 1930 for his own occupation by Leslie Carter-Clout (one of a number of builders involved in the development of Petts Wood), to a design by Leonard Culliford. Tudor House was an attempt to create a country house in a suburban setting, and won a “House of the Year” award from the National House Builders Association. For part of the Second World War it served as the officers’ mess for the Royal Corps of Signals.