Killearn Cottagers' Horticultural Society


Back in 1966 the Stirling Observer ran a report, not about a famous football victory, but about the favourable weather the Society had for celebrating their 100th annual show. Fifty years on history repeated itself as the Society celebrated their 150th Show with a dry, wind free day being enjoyed by all the local residents and others who came from all over central Scotland. The Society was actually celebrating being in existence for 166 years having been founded in 1850 when the flower show was run in conjunction with the local agricultural show. Some shows were cancelled due to the two world war years and outbreaks of foot & mouth and brucellosis.

photograph of Dunbartonshire concert band on the GlebeDunbartonshire Concert Band playing on The Glebe at the 150th Show

To celebrate the 150th show the committee invited the Dunbartonshire concert band to play on The Glebe, a sound that was enjoyed by everyone during the afternoon, as well as the enjoyable music there were representatives from local and national groups and societies in the marquee and gazebos around the Glebe. In the kirk the local archive group had a display which ran in conjunction with the one-off history section which provided an array of old gardening equipment, manuals, clothes and kitchen equipment. The spinners proved a popular attraction with both young and old been allowed to try their hand at working the wheel whilst many put a stitch into the embroiders' guild tapestry. A selection of pictures of the day can be seen on the photos page. More will be added later.

The cut flowers and many floral arrangements were left behind to be enjoyed by the congregation of Killearn Kirk on Sunday as part of their flower festival. Before the start of the prize giving we heard local poet Joyce Begg read out a poem that she had written especially for the 150th show:-

Joyce Begg reading her poem

"A hundred years and fifty more have passed in old Killearn
Since gardeners got together and decided they could learn
And pick up from each other clever uses and inventions
That could raise their fruit and veges to celestial dimensions.
Since then, the Horticultural Society extended
Beyond what the originals envisaged or intended.
In addition to a programme full of talks and exhibitions,
There are plant swaps, open gardens, and ferocious competitions.

The Horty's big extravaganza is the Flower Show,
Where people bring the biggest leeks and carrots they can grow,
Where autumn fruits, and marigolds, and baskets packed with veges
Jostle for space on bench and tray, and spill along the ledges.
You might well see 'Arrangement in Unusual Container' -
Which means a tin or teapot, or perhaps a Nike trainer.
Throughout the hall the scent of flowers permeates the air,
And people smile with happiness, delighted to be there.

The competition's keen, of course, as bakers will agree.
The pancakes, tarts and breads inspire a cut-throat rivalry.
The knitting and the craftwork are a wonder to behold.
The children's paintings fill the walls with colours bright and bold.
And through it all, in every hall, the feeling is the same.
The spirit of community is one we all can claim.
The Flower Show epitomises village life and fun.
So Happy Birthday Horty! Lots of love from everyone."

Photograph of Lady Edmonstone opening the showLady Edmonstone opens the 150th Show

Chairman John Phillips thanked Joyce for her lovely poem and went on to introduce this year's show opener Lady Edmonstone from Duntreath who gave a history of her involvement with the show, in particular a story about her neighbour Mrs Ewan Cameron who back in 1976 presented a trophy for the winner of the summer garden competition.

After the presentation of the trophies John thanked Lady Edmonstone who was then presented with a lovely pot plant. Further thanks from John and a presentation of a bouquet of flowers were given to our Secretary Glenda Asquith who co-ordinated all the arrangements for the 2016 show and prodded the rest of the committee to carry out their tasks. After the prize giving a draw took place with the winners of the best exhibit and most points in each of the eleven sections being given a chance to win one of the six commemorative bottles of whisky kindly donated by Glengoyne Distillery.

A big thank you goes to all the exhibitors who pulled out all the stops to make this show the special show that it was with an amazing 1372 entries across the 261 classes which this year included extra classes including novice and aforementioned History section.


The Prizes :-

Vegetable grower Norman McBean from Thornhill won the Glengoyne Cup for the best exhibit in fruit & veg section with his wonderful board of vegetables and going on to win the Quinloch decanter for the best exhibit in horticultural overall.

The most points in the onion classes (McGowan Trowel) went to Balfron exhibitor Bill Stewart with local grower Neil Metcalfe winning the society trowel for the most points in the section.

In the cut flower classes Chairman John Phillips won the Tom Robbie trophy for the most points in the keenly contested dahlia classes. Winning the best exhibit in this section was a beautiful vase of sweet peas displayed by Drew Watson from Kirkintilloch with Janice McLaren and Grant Farquharson from Balfron winning the Blair trophy for most points in the section and Sir George Wilson rose bowl respectfully.

photograph of David Houston collecting the Battison CupDavid Houston collects the Battison Cup

It was a clean sweep in the adult classes of the floral art for Killearn exhibitor Heather Wright who won three trophies including the Floral cup for her exhibit of 150 years of Beatrice Potter.

A wonderful fuchsia won Drew Watson best exhibit in the pot plants whilst Davd Houston gained the Battison cup for most points.

With a magnificent display of baking on the tables it was Jane McLaren - Arnprior - who received the Cuthbert Salver for most points and a lovely cake from the 150th Birthday Cake class taking best exhibit prize for Judy Dixon.

The special prize for the given recipe - a ration cake - was won by Gladys Farquharson from Balfron.

The McIntosh cup for most points in youth classes 21-33 was won by Eva Mailer from Killearn.

In the preserves a jar of lemon curd won best exhibit in section for Gladys Farquharson with the prize for most points going to fellow Bafron SWI member Joan Dymond.
Best exhibit in the wine, beer & cordial section was won by Ian Wright.

The millennium Quaich for most points in the well supported craft section was won by Elizabeth Hay, the best exhibit - embroided picture - was shown by Heather Wright while Jenny Wilks won the most amusing craft entry.

A selection of miniature gardens saw Tilda and James Pope along with Amy Wright win their respective age groups with Zoe Loughrey showing the most amusing craft entry and receiving the Society prize for points in their section.

A large entry in the Photographic section resulted in local snapper Dai Davis winning the points prize with best exhibit going to Jackie Savery.

Ida Rennie won best exhibit in the Art with the points prize to I Mackie.

The History section best exhibit was won by Gladys Farquharson with a petticoat dating from the 19th century with Mike Jackson receiving the prize for most points.

An entry of six scarecrows resulted in Jenny Wilks getting first prize for her Boris & Brexit effort.

A well-deserved thank you to all the helpers over the period of the show from Thursday to Saturday and of course to all the exhibitors nearand far who made the Show what it was - special for our 150th.

The 151st Show will take place in the Village Hall and the Church Halls Saturday 26th August 2017.

Section A - Cut Flowers

Photograph of John Phillips accepting Robbie Trophy
John Phillips accepts the Robbie Trophy

Sir George Wilson Centenery C up - Best Exhibit in Roses
G. W. Farquharson (Balfron)
Tom Robbie Trophy - Most Points in Dahlias
J. Phillips
The Blair Trophy - Most Points in Section A
Mrs J. MaLaren (Balfron)
Best Exhibit:
  • Herbaceous
    Mrs D. Jackson
  • Sweet Peas
    D. Watson
  • Annuals
    D. Watson
  • Gladioli
    D. Cowal
  • Spray Chrysanths
    Mrs J. McLaren (Balfron)
  • Section A
    D. Watson (for Sweet Peas)

Section B - Floral Art

Photograph of  Heather Wright accepting one of her trophies
Heather Wright collected several awards

Floral Trophy - Best Exhibit in Section B
Mrs H. Wright
Robertson Trophy - Best exhibit class B9
Mrs H.Wright
Findlay Cup - Most Points in Section
Mrs H.Wright

Section C - Pot Plants

Special Prize, best pot plant
D. Watson
Special Prize, best Exhibit in Fuchsias classes
D. Watson
Battison Cup - Most Points in Section C
D. Houston

Section D - Vegetables & Fruit

Photograph of Bill Stewart collecting the MacGowan Trowel
MacGowan Trowel winner, Bill Stewart

MacGowan Trowel - Most points Sections D8-D15, Leeks & Onions
B. Stewart (Balfron)
Dunkyan Trophy - Best exhibit Section D38
N. McBean (Thornhill)
Gordon Trophy - Basket of Plenty
N. Mcbean (Thornhill)
Society Trowel - Most points in Section D
N. Metcalfe
Glengoyne Cup - Best Exhibit in Section
N. McBean (Thornhill)
Quinloch Decanter - Best Exhibit in Horticulture
N. McBean (Thornhill)
Mega Marrow - Heaviest Marrow
W. MacGowan

Section E - Baking

Photograph of the winning 150th anniversary cake
Winning entry in the special class for a 150th anniversary cake

Cuthbert Family Salver - Most Points in Classes E1-E20
Mrs J. McLaren (Arnprior)
Baking Quaich - Best Exhibit Classes E1-E20
Convener's Gift Special Prize Class E7 (Given Recipe)
Mrs G. Farquharson (Balfron)
McIntosh Cup - Most Points E20-E3s (Youth)
Eva Mailer (Killearn)

Section F - Preserves

McFarlanes, voucher - Most Points in Section F
Mrs J. Dymond (Balfron)
Preserves Clock - Best Exhibit
Mrs G. Farquharson (Balfron)

Section G - Wine, Beer & Cordials

WBC Cup, Best Exhibit in Section G
I. Wright

Section H - Craft

Photograph of winning knitted iten
A magnificent cardigan by Jessie McArthur

Millennium Quaich - Most Points Classes H1-H19
Mrs E. Hay
Best Exhibit Classes H1-H20
Mrs H. Wright
J. Wright Cup - Most Amusing Craft Entry
Mrs J.Wilks
Most Amusing Youth Craft Entry (youth)
Z. Loughrey
Society Prize - Mlst Points Classes H31-51
Z. Loughrey
Best Exhibit Class H35
T. Pope
Best Exhibit Class H36
G. McGill
Best Exhibit Class H37
J. Pope
Best Exhibit Class H38
A. Wright

Photograph of best exhibit in special History section
Gladys Farquharson's 19th Century Petticoat

Section J - Photographic

Society Jubilee Quaich - Best Exhibit
J. Savery
Most Points in Section J
D. Davies

Section K - Art

Society Prize, Best Exhibit
I. Rennie
Most Points in Section K
I. Mackiet


Best Exhibitin Section
Mrs G. Farquharson (Balfron) for 1876 Petticoat
Most Points in Section K
M. Jackson

The Gardens of Killearn

Twice every year - once in Spring and again in Summer we appoint a Judge and drive around Killearn looking at all the gardens judging them as seen from the road. In addition the Leonora Murray Trophy for "Hidden" Gardens is awarded to the best garden not normally visible.

The following were the results;

1st - Mrs A. Chambers.
2nd - Mr & Mrs K. Hamilton.
3rd - Mrs H. McLean
1st (Mrs Ewen Cameron Cup) - Mr and Mrs R. KIdd.
2nd - Mr & Mr and Mrs D. Burt.
3rd - Mr & Mr and Mrs A Crombie.
1st (Leonora Murray Trophy) - Mr and Mrs P. Pain.
2nd - Mr and Mrs J. Scott.
3rd - Mr & Mrs D. Burt.

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