The Colemans Hatch Horticultural & Sports Society was founded in 1946 by a group of parents, led by Mary Hale & Mary Philcox, as a childrens sports event in the gardens of Hollyhill.
Over the following few years it expanded to include a flower show with competitions for flowers, vegetables and crafts very similar to the show that we still have today. The show was very well supported by the local residents attracting around 600 entries in some years.
The majority of the larger local houses employed professional gardeners and they became very competitive. Many of the trophies which are still presented today are named after these competitors. The farm workers and foresters in the area all came together assisting with the setting up of the show and the running of the sideshows. They also competed for the 'Best Cottage Garden' which was judged approximately one week prior to the main show.
By the late 1950s the show had outgrown its Hollyhill venue and moved to the Coach Road field which at the time was farmed by the Hale family. The show continued to reside at this venue until John Hale retired in 1986. In the following years the show had many homes including Ryst Wood Farm when this was farmed by Frank Mitchell, a very wet year at Landhurst Wood in Hartfieldand then a couple of years at our present venue of Shepherds Gate Farm. We spent four years at Cobbers farm before returning to Shepherds Gate Farm in Colemans Hatch.
A large number of the people who attend the show today have helped over the years to keep the show as the traditional village show which it was always intended to be. People such as Joan Cottenham and Pat Crittenden who were producing the most delicious teas in the 1950s, Dennis Mercer and John Everest were two people of many who were always available to lend a hand. So many local people have done there bit over the years to help the Colemans Hatch Show retain the village atmosphere and the character which is special to Colemans Hatch.
Thank-you to everyone who has been involved since 1946 and to all the future helpers we hope to meet.