In 1893, a Trumpington organisation was established
called the Working Men's Chrysanthemum Show. At a
meeting at the Vicarage it was resolved that a show
should be held for chrysanthemums, fruit and
vegetables about the end of November. The following
officers were elected:
President: Mr Porter
Secretary: Mr F.Prime
Treasurer: Mr J.A.Sturton
Committee: Messrs. Forbes, Chapman, Lilley, Blows,
Cowell and Harvey (1).
Committee member, Charles Forbes, was Head
Gardener to Ebernezer Bird Foster of Anstey Hall. He
had exhibited ten years earlier at the inaugural show of
the Trumpington and Grantchester Horticultural
Society in July 1883 (2).
The 1898 annual meeting of the Working Men's
Chrysanthemum Society was held in the Schoolroom
and Mr T.H.J. Porter presided in the chair. The
Secretary reported on the progress of the Society since
its formation in 1893, including the information that
nearly 1000 entries had been received for exhibition in
that period (3). A few weeks later, Mr Frederick Prime
was presented with a handsome writing desk in
recognition of the excellent manner in which he had
carried out his duties as Secretary. It was felt that Mr
Prime had played a large role in the success of the
The annual dinner of the Trumpington
Chrysanthemum Society in 1912 was held at the Green
Man. The President was Mr T.H.J. Porter;
vice-president, Mr P.R. Robinson; hon. treasurer, Mr
C. Forbes; and hon. secretary, Mr J.H. Chapman (5).
From this root, the Trumpington Horticultural Society
grew. For many years it arranged very successful
annual shows. The 22nd annual show was held in
October 1922. This was the first show held by the
Society since the First World War: no shows being held
in 1915-1921. The officials were: President, Mr C.
Forbes; vice president, Mr J.H. Chapman; hon.
treasurer, Mr P.R. Robinson; hon. secretary, Mr H.E.
Foster; committee, Messrs W. Dann, F.W. Lander, J.
Lawrence, Medhurst, J. Pamplin, George Pamplin and
G.F. Peters; auditors, the Rev. Moule and Mr T.H.J.
To stimulate interest in ploughing locally, the first of
what was hoped to be a series of annual ploughing
matches took place in September 1925 under the
auspices of the Trumpington Horticultural Society. A
field was lent by Mr F. Tebbit for the contests for
double ploughs and for single teams. The judging was
undertaken by Mr Charles Edwards, of Cantelupe
Farm, and Mr C.H. Rogers, of Red Cross Farm (7).
When Mr Forbes died in 1926, the Society had a cup
inscribed "to perpetuate the memory of Charles
Forbes, one of its founders". This Forbes Trophy was
first awarded in 1927.
There was a break during the Second World War. A
public meeting was held in the Village Hall on 20
February 1946 at which it was agreed to revive the
Society. The following were elected:
President: A.W.Dilley Esq.
Vice President: Rev. T.Young
Hon. Treasurer: Mr A.Medhurst
Hon.Secretary: Mr F.J.Haynes
Committee: Messrs. E.Haynes, Shanks, Chamberlain,
Freestone, Mynott, Peachey, Youngs, W.Bass, Raynes
Annual shows continued to be held and Mr Harry
Collins set the record for winning, with the highest
number of points in the show, the Forbes Trophy each
year for ten years 1946 to 1955.
Two horticultural shows were held annually in the
village for a period from 1956 when the Trumpington
British Legion Branch organised a separate event. Ill
health prevented Harry Collins from participating but
his son, Michael, had obviously benefited from Harry's
experience and advice. In 1956 at the first British
Legion Show Michael Collins won the Cornwell
Challenge Cup for the highest number of points for the
whole show, the Saville Peck Memorial Cup and the
Loveday Challenge Cup (8). After his death in 1956,
Harry Collins was remembered by the Trumpington
Horticultural Society by the Harry Collins Cup,
awarded for the greatest number of points in vegetable
When the local British Legion branch ceased to
organise horticultural shows, they transferred their cups
to the Trumpington Horticultural Society in 1969, 1970
or 1971. The Horticultural Society then included
special show classes for British Legion members.
In 1980, the Committee, with Honorary Secretary Dr
Stephen Brown, decided to increase the activities of
the Society by arranging a programme of evening
meetings and Summer visits. This development was
well supported by the keen gardeners of Trumpington
and the practice of inviting guest speakers, holding
quizzes and plant sales has continued. An archive of
meeting programmes has been maintained.
Over the years the Society has taken part in
community events. It has run plant and produce stalls
at the Vicarage Garden Parties, Fawcett School Fetes,
the Mothers' Union Community Event 2004 and the
Village Hall Centenary Celebrations 2008.
In 2003 the Society's name was changed to
Trumpington Gardening Society (TruGS). From 2005
to 2011, the formal Annual Show was replaced by an
informal Summer/Autumn show, where Society
members had the fun of being both the exhibitors and
(1) Cambridge Chronicle 7 April 1893 p.4
(2) ibid July 1883
(3) ibid 20 May 1898 p.8
(4) ibid 17 June 1898 p.8
(5) ibid 22 March 1912 p.8
(6) ibid 18 October 1922 p.3
(7) ibid 30 September 1925 p.6
(8) Cambridge Daily News 4 September 1956
At the end of 2011, the Society was mothballed with
the intention that the group will restart in the future.
Plant stalls and summer coach trips continued to be
1956. Michael Collins and his father,
Harry Collins, with their cups
History display panel at the
Trumpington Village Hall Centenary
Exhibition 20-25 October 2008
including item from Cambridge
Chronicle 7 April 1883 reporting the
formation of the Working Mens'
Chrysanthemum Society; photo of
Charles Forbes taken 20 July 1898, a
founder of the Society, and a
photograph of the Forbes Trophy,
given to the Society in memory of
Charles in 1926.
Photo: Andrew Roberts
Harry Collins - annual winner of the
Forbes Trophy with the highest number
of points at the Trumpington
Horticultural Show for the ten year
Photo taken in the Corn Exchange in
Trumpington British Legion's first
horticultural show 1956
Trumpington Village Hall
Annual Show 4 July 1987
Trumpington Church Hall
'Dedication to Duty'
Margaret Marrs manning the stall at the
Vicarage Garden Party. Early 2000s