From the archives – Prettiest Garden Competition, June 1980

Were you around in 1980 – and if so, do you remember the Prettiest Garden Competition?

The photo here is from the Croydon Advertiser and shows the then Mayor of Croydon, Councillor R. David May (far right) with BGRA Chairman Tony Hollidge (far left) and the three winners. The winners were (left to right): Mr M. Hayes (Dennett Road, 3rd), Mrs R. Vickery (Dennett Road, 2nd) and Mrs F. Rutter (Bishops Road, 1st).

The competition was organised by Committee member Arthur Suddaby. In the May edition of the Newsletter, Tony Hollidge wrote encouraging people to take part: “This Association has, for a number of years, endeavoured to impress on the rest of the Borough that Broad Green could be a nice place to live in… We would emphasise that the attraction is not only the prizes, but actually taking part and proving by your efforts that we in Broad Green are not the people to be down-trodden and ignored…” He added that “we trust that a typical Broad Green welcome to the Mayor on his journey of inspection of gardens will be given.”

The judging took place on the afternoon of Saturday 28th June 1980. The Mayor and organisers visited gardens from fourteen streets around the area, finishing up in Elmwood Road, where the presentation took place.

Here is the report from the Broad Green Residents Association newsletter, July 1980:

“Your Chairman would like to thank the residents of Broad Green, in making our first venture of the Prettiest Garden Competition such a great success. Everybody who entered the competition did us proud, and The Worshipful Mayor of Croydon Councillor R. David May had a great task of judging this competition. The prizegiving took place at 43, Elmwood Road, where the Bunting was out, just like a village event.”

If you have a story from the archives which you’d like us to feature here (or in the printed members’ newsletter), do let us know. Don’t worry if you can’t remember all the details, as these can often be found in newsletters from the time, or in other documents such as minutes of meetings.

You can find editions of the Broad Green Residents Association newsletter, going back to when it was founded in 1974, in Croydon Local Studies Library. Although items can’t be borrowed from the library, anyone can look at them free of charge.

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