60 Sparkling Years exhibition ends Littlehampton Flower Club's diamond anniversary year in style

Littlehampton Flower Club is ending its diamond anniversary year on a high, with a colourful exhibition of floral designs.

Friday, 19th October 2018, 1:06 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd October 2018, 10:45 am
Littlehampton Flower Club members have been celebrating its diamond anniversary this year, including this stall at Littlehampton Town Show. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks180440-22

The theme is 60 Sparkling Years and the members will be putting on a display of arrangements in five different classes.

The last time the club put on anything like this was ten years ago, for the golden anniversary, so it should be something special.

Secretary Glynne Collins said: “We are anticipating that it will be a very colourful display.

Littlehampton mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper cutting the 60th anniversary cake back in May. Picture: Steve Robards SR1812917

“There will be a table showing 60 years of flower arranging, because it has changed over time.

“It started with Constance Spry and Julia Clements, before the club started, and the arrangements were much more of a massed affair, with a big urn and green foliage.

“Then it got a bit more structured, with a shape, and then we had a lot more influence from the continent, with parallel arrangements, in rows.

“Now, we have moved on a bit further so it is more of an art form, more like sculptures, but we do still use the old ones, of course.”

The exhibition will be at Littlehampton United Church Hall, in High Street, Littlehampton, tomorrow, Saturday, from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be a tombola and light refreshments for sale.

Entrance is 50p and a donation to Angmering-based charity Cancer United will be made from the proceeds.

As people enter, they will be greeted by an arrangement entitled The Suffragettes at Littlehampton.

Glynne explained: “The hall was a big meeting place for the Suffragettes, so I am doing an arrangement for the foyer on that theme, using mauve, white and purple, with accessories to help people understand what it is trying to portray.”

Other classes are Anniversary Party, featuring buffet table arrangements; Crowning Glory, featuring innovative designs and eye-catching glitz; Sparkling Wine, demonstrating miniature skills with a wine glass as the base; Around the World, using exotic colouring and plants from different countries; and Diamond Celebration, giving exhibitors the freedom to interpret the theme however they choose.

Littlehampton Flower Club was founded in 1958, holding alternate afternoon and evening meetings monthly, at the Flintstone Centre.

In 1964, 1965 and 1966, members representing the club were awarded medals for arrangements at the RHS Shows at Chelsea.

The meetings are now held at Parkside Evangelical Church hall, St Flora’s Road, Littlehampton, on the second Wednesday afternoon of each month, except January.

Generally, the club has an invited demonstrator to stage a programme of floral arrangements. This shows club members how to arrange flowers in traditional, modern and innovative ways, as well as providing much information on plant material, accessories and many useful tips.

Sometimes, the monthly meeting is a workshop or a talk.

There is usually a club competition each month, for members to practise different styles of arranging.

Members’ expertise is used for decorating churches - even Westminster Abbey in the past, stately homes, exhibitions and other competitions.

Outings, social and fundraising functions are part of the club’s programme, as a proportion of the profits is donated to the chosen charity for the year.

The club is small, with around 50 members, but is looking to encourage new and energetic men and women to join.

Glynne said: “Flower arranging bridges a lot of horticultural issues, plant knowledge, garden planning as a variety of shrubs is a must, conservation and recycling.

“Flower arrangers are renowned for collecting all kinds of cast-offs – it’s not just the ‘ladies who do the church flowers’.”