Deptford Gardeners Guild

Deptford had a Gardens Guild in the 1920s and it held its first gardening competition in 1930. By 1931 this had doubled to eighty entries for the gardens section alone. The competitions were held at St James Church Hall, Hatcham. There were four classes: front gardens, back gardens, large and small window boxes. The competition was judged by the Superintendent Gardener for Deptford, Mr H M Butler. He also put on a display of flowers grown at Deptford Borough’s nursery and open spaces.

By 1932 the Gardens Guild had 300 members and was looking to increase its membership. The Guild was encouraging all those who lived on main roads to 'beautify' their front gardens. These competitions carried on until the Second World War, when they stopped briefly.

In 1943 the competitions started again as part of the 'Dig for Victory' campaign, and certificates were awarded for food production on allotments. This was carried on after the war, when food production and supplies were still low. The Gardens Guild had now become the Deptford Allotment and Garden Association. By 1950 the competitions had returned to the pre-war show of flowers and vegetables, but they were now held at St George’s Hall.

In 2002 the cups and shield of the Deptford Allotment and Garden Association were donated to the Local History and Archives Centre and are now part of the museum collection held by the Centre (reference E02/377).

The cups awarded were:

* Deptford Gardeners Guild Cup for Best Large Garden in Deptford (1932 – 1993)
* Murray Cup for Best Small Garden in Deptford (1933 – 1994)
* Robbins Challenge Cup for highest number of points in the vegetable section at the annual Flower and Vegetable show (1937 – 1996)
* Evans Cook Cup for Best Medium Sized Garden in Deptford (1949 – 1994)
* Rickard Cup for Best Window Box in the Borough of Deptford (1956 – 1993)
* Norris Shield for Best Exhibit in the annual show (1968 – 1986)
* Cunningham Cup for Floral Art (1969 – 1996)
* Fred Cox Cup for Chrysanthemums (1970 – 1992)
* Doughty Cup for Dahlias (1970 – 1994).

List of overall winners

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