Mersea Horticultural Society.
The first meeting of this Society took place on Friday last, and passed off very successfully. The show was held in the West Hall Barn, which, with the pasture adjoining, was kindly lent by Mr. John Bacon, who is always ready to sacrifice " self " for the enjoyment and benefit of others, The arrangements in the barn, which were in the hands of Mr. Hugh Green, were next to perfect, the judge saying he had never seen a better show and should certainly recommend it to other kindred societies ; many thanks are due to Mr. Wrate, Chief Officer, for having flags, &c, hung about the barn which helped to take off the coldness and rendered it more effective. At an early hour on Friday the islanders might be seen wending their way with all kinds of flowers, fruits, roots, and vegetables, and the dexterity with which the various commodities were entered, numbered, and put in their respective places, reflected great credit upon the Secretary, the Rev. Edward Musselwhite. Mr. Ingle, gardener at Birch Hall, was Judge of the vegetables, roots, and fruit; and Mr. Neville, assisted by Mr. Willsmer, of the ploughing; and they gave universal satisfaction. The show was thrown open to the public at one p.m., the admission being 6d. until three o'clock, and Id. after that hour, and, although the grounds were very damp from the previous night's rain, still there was a good number present, and all seemed agreeably surprised to see such a good show. Several farmers kindly contributed to the interest of the exhibition by sending different kinds of roots, and Mrs. Corrie and several other ladies with fruit and flowers, but these, of course, were not for competition. The ploughing match for men, which took place in an adjacent field, brought out eleven competitors who, the judge said, had done their work remarkably well, the first prize being carried off by Alfred Pullen, horseman to Mr. Alexander Bean ; the second by George Moss, horseman to Mr. John Bacon, jun. ; and the third by Sam Water- man (Mr. J. Bacon, Sen.), horseman. At four o'clock the Athletic Sports commenced, under the management of Mr. Hugh Green, assisted by Messrs. H. J. Eagle, C. Cock, John Bacon, and John Thorpe, and, although it rained at intervals, the whole programme, consisting of 13 entries, with Ist, 2nd, and 3rd prizes, was successfully got through, but not before " the shades of evening began to steal across the sky." Notwithstanding this everyone on the field joined in giving hearty cheers for Mr. Hugh Green for his indefatigable exertions, not only at the sports but throughout the day. The members of the Society then adjourned to the White Hart Inn, and after giving away the prises to the successful candidates, sat down to a meat tea. Tea being over, the Vicar (Rev. Thos. R. Musselwhite) occupied the Chair, and the Vice Chair was filled by Mr. Charles Cock. The usual toasts were drunk and responded to, and thus an hour or two were very enjoyably spent.
From The Essex Standard 20 October 1876
Date: 20 October 1876