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125 years of flowers: A history of the Shrewsbury Flower Show

A photograph of what the Shrewsbury Flower Show used to look like Photo: Shrewsbury Flower Show

The Shrewsbury Flower Show celebrates 125 years today, making it the longest running flower show of its kind.

Starting back in 1836, as a Carnation and Goosebury Show, it's evolved over the years, now attracting 50,000 visitors to the event.

Here's a guide to the history of the Shrewsbury Flower Show:

1836

The Salop Horticultural Society presents a Carnation and Gooseberry Show in the Frankwell area of Shrewsbury.

1857

The Shropshire Horticultural Society stage the first ‘Flower Show’ in a large marquee in Shrewsbury’s town centre.

1874

Despite on-going financial pressure, the show made a profit of one shilling and 10 pence – which is the equivalent to nine pence today.

1875

The Shropshire Horticultural Society was formally born and the Shrewsbury Flower Show became official.

1881

Entertainment included Bon Bon the tightrope walker, whose tightrope was 150 ft long and stood 40 ft above the ground.

1914-1918

The First World War meant the show was halted for seven years.

1920

The revival show brought people from across England and Wales and as far north as Scotland.

1924

The Shropshire Horticultural Society bought Shrewsbury Castle from show profits for £2,621 and presented it to the town.

1940

The Quarry was used as an allotment as part of Shrewsbury’s war effort to grow food.

1952

British Garden in Berlin was completed having been designed by Percy Thrower and funded by the Society.

1970

Weather halted play as two inches of rain fell during the first day of the show.

1987

The show celebrated its Centenary Show with a flyover from Concorde.

2004

Katherine Jenkins sang to the crowds.

2012

Today, the Shrewsbury Flower Show is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest running horticultural show held in the same location.

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