1934 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

The firm thought about not attending the 1934 show, which was to be held between 30th May and 1st June inclusive; however after some thought they decided that it was not in their best interests not to attend the show and left their sending in their application form until only a day or two before applications closed, on 15th March. They were desperately unhappy with their previous site and this may have been one reason site for being undecided as to appear. They visited the RHS offices in Vincent Street to book a 20ft. square site and let them know that if they were allocated the same space as last year they would refuse to attend. In addition, they asked for the corner slot they had several years previously next to the entrance to the large tent; whilst the RHS could not guarantee that space they appeared sympathetic and if they could not have that space then the RHS would offer them a site close by.

 

 

1934 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

There was also talk of not exhibiting a smaller house than the normal 12ft. by 8ft. amateur span-roof that they had shown for the last ten years or so. They discussed exhibiting either a 10ft. by 8ft. or 10ft. by 7ft. and making it lighter and cheaper. In the end they appeared to only display one greenhouse instead of the normal two and that was a 20ft. by 12ft. span-roof house, along with wood stages, iron stages, several types of wood lath blinds; a No 2. garden seat; heating apparatus suitable for a 12ft. by 8ft. house (using a Loughborough boiler), three Loughborough boilers (Nos. 2, 03 and 3) and two Quorn boilers (Nos., 26 and 46). As in the previous few years Messrs. G. Keen & Son, No. 174, Upper Richmond Road, Putney delivered and removed gravel ordered for the show stand.

 

1934 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)
1934 – Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show (Chelsea)

They noted 39 enquiries during the show, of which 12 were for appointments or invitations to “call in when passing”, 7 requesting quotes, 5 for estimates, 1 order, 9 requesting catalogues, 1 seeking advice, 3 general enquiries and 2 regarding problems with existing Messenger supplied equipment.

Mr. Leslie Carter-Clout, a builder of Tudor House, Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, ordered a set of cords for his blinds he ordered the previous year.

Another enquiry lead to an order, in August, from Rear Admiral H.D. Bridges of Bealeswood, Dockenfield, Surrey, for two ¾ Span-roof greenhouse, one 16ft. wide and the other 12ft., wood stages, wrought iron stages, heating apparatus with No. 34 Quorn boiler and brickwork totalling to £302 17s. 6d. They sub-contracted the groundwork to Crosby & Co. Ltd., of South Street, Farnham, which included removing the existing greenhouse and frames, retaining the glass where possible, taking down existing dwarf walls and making good other brick walls, providing new footings and new dwarf walls, providing new floors, providing planks, ladders and trestles for Messenger’s joiners and fitters then clearing away all the rubbish and finally making the site clean and tidy. Messenger’s added a 15% markup to Messrs. Crosby price of £64, charging the client £74. Several additional items were ordered by Rear Admiral Bridges, including heating to garage, glazed light and frame and paving work, giving a total contract value of £317 1s. 4d. The work was completed by November, when rear Admiral Bridges, wrote a letter explaining both his satisfaction with the work and the way their firm’s workmen conducted themselves, whilst on site.

Mr. Richard N. Ramsey of Dumbarrow House, Strathmiglo, Fifeshire ordered a 19ft. by 8ft. lean-to, made in lights, together with 2ft. and 3ft. wide wrought iron and heating apparatus (Plan B, with No. 2 Loughborough Boiler). The total price was £43 5s.[1], unfixed.

Sir Philip Browne, of Packways, Durford Wood, Petersfield, called in requesting someone to call out one Saturday morning to discuss problems with the new pits on the side of his new 25ft. x 12ft. ¾ span-roof greenhouse.

Mr. L.J. Day, gardener to Sir Frank Meyer, of Ayot House, Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, enquired regarding an estimate for a 42ft. by 18ft. combined span-roof carnation & pot fruit house. The gardener let it be known that they were up against both Messrs. Foster & Pearson of Beeston, Nottingham and Messrs. William Wood & Sons Ltd., of Taplow. The firm submitted their estimate, on 8th June, for £238 12s. 6d., which included the combined span-roof carnation & pot fruit house, 48ft. x 3ft. wrought iron stages, heating pipes without boiler (they already had a Balmforth Independent Saddle boiler) and eight box ventilators. Following a visit to the site on 12th, the firm was asked to provide an additional quote for wrapped pipe-work between the boiler and new house; an additional door in the partition; additional 14ft. x 3ft. staging; two 150 gallon rain water cisterns; increasing side and end framing by 6in.. The subsequent estimate for £46 10s., was duly submitted on 15th June. During the visit the gardener, Mr. Day informed them that the contest was now between Woods and the firm, with former being £70 more expensive (although the price included all required brickwork). The gardener preferring the firm’s solution promised to obtain an estimate for the brickwork from local builders and try to persuade his employer to decide in their favour. By 18th June, Sir Frank Meyer, who vice-chairman of the De Beers diamond cartel and former MP for Great Yarmouth, had made his decision and awarded the firm the order. On 25th June, following discussions on how best to supply cold water to the cisterns, Messenger’s put forward an estimate for £14 12s. 6d., proposing using a Jobson & Beckwith double action pump. After further lengthy discussions this was finally accepted on 14th August. The job was finally completed in early September.

 

 

Reference:

  1. Comprising:-£24 7s. 6d. for the structure; £9 for the stages; £9 17s. 6d. for the heating apparatus