A Brighter Future

Bad feeling arose about the way the site was being run and the Association Committee specifically. A difficult AGM in 2001 led to an Emergency General Meeting called by three Trustees, in February 2002. Word had gone around that change was possible and that if it was going to happen people should attend. Around seventy people turned up, four times the usual number. Many contentious points were raised and a member asked for the meeting to be chaired professionally.

Another member stated that ‘many remarks were against women …and if anyone having a problem with women gardeners would like to see her garden she would be happy to meet them’. Ellen Alcock reflects that at that time ‘women were just about tolerated’. By the next AGM in December 2002, however, the Committee comprised seven women and two men plus Bob Webb as President. The mould had truly (and painfully) been broken. Two of that Committee remain today, Jak Sheridan and Nigel Briggs. The change was noted, with some amazement but no rancour, by Jim Riman in a remark to this author. ‘I went into the Committee Meeting and it was all women!’