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History of the Society

There have been allotments on the Grosvenor Road site since the late 1800's; sold to Ashton-on-Mersey Borough Council in 1908 to be retained as allotments 'as long as required'.

The site was run as Allotments and as a Horticultural Society for almost 100 years by two separate Societies, the Grosvenor Road Allotment Society (G.R.A.S.S.) and the Sale Horticultural Society, which merged to form the present Sale Horticultural and Allotments Society (S.H.A.S.) in 1988.

G.R.A.S.S. was a small society consisting of some 30-odd members who were all allotment holders at the Grosvenor Road allotment site. They operated a trading scheme for members where gardening supplies were bought in bulk and sold in the Trading Huts at discounted prices. The allotment site was council-owned and the society used to receive an annual grant from the council of approximately £50, which helped keep the society viable.

Sale Horticultural Society was a larger society whose history can be traced back to pre-1920's and whose peak was in the 1950's and early 1960's, but like a lot of other societies was in a steady decline during the 1980's. In the golden days of the 1950's, the Society held many large annual shows, some of which were held over two days. Chrysanthemum and Dahlia growers from all over the North West of England attended to compete for one of the many magnificent trophies being awarded. Most of the trophies are still in the possession of the present Society and are now used for the Annual Best Tubs, Baskets and Gardens Awards.

As the allotments were becoming slightly run down and untidy, an offer was made to the local Trafford Council to form a Management Committee to improve the allotment site. The offer, made by G.R.A.S.S., was refused by the council because the Society was not large enough. As one or two people were members of both societies, the idea was formed to merge the two societies with the intention of increasing membership as a whole and combining their efforts to sufficiently satisfy the local council.

The Present Society

A committee was formed and another application put to Trafford Council, this time successfully, and the present Society was up and running. The committee set up working parties to clear up vacant plots, which the council subsequently re-let and the site was generally tidied up. Twelve months on, the council was so impressed with the efforts of the Society that it gave us an option to become entirely self-managed, which the Committee decided to take up.

With help from the council and a lot of hard work from the members, the site improved considerably, with all the vacant plots being let. In fact it is so successful that the Society now has a waiting list for plots. The site has improved so much that it won Trafford Council's 'Most Improved Site' in 1993 and 2006, has always figured highly in the 'Best Site in the Borough' award, and regularly wins the 'Best Site in Sale' award.

Membership is steadily growing and we presently have over 150 members. This influx of new members with new ideas, together with the experience of existing members should hopefully ensure the ongoing success of the Society.

History (last edited 2017-08-12 11:51:07 by TonyTurnbull)