SAD NEWS October2022

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Gil Dawson formerly of Pops Plants. Gil will be greatly missed by all his friends and family, his knowledge of horticulture was beyond exceptional, he always knew the answer.

Funeral details are as below

October 13th, 1 p.m., 

Test Valley Crematorium,

Ridge Lane, 


SO51 6AA.


Afterwards at the 

Woodgreen Village Hall,

Hale Road, 




Family flowers only, donations if desired to Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, c/o IAN Newman, Griffin House, 55 Winchester St., Salisbury, SP1 1HL.


Our sympathies go out to Lesley and members of the family. 


Looking forward to meeting up with you all on Saturday April 9th for our first show in a couple of years. A reminder that judging is at 1200, public admitted 2.30. Schedules can be printed off from this site.

 We will now be in the main hall at Bookham, not the Harrison Room. It means we will have a little more car parking space! See you there.



Good news!!!! Our two main shows will take place as usual in April and how we are looking forward to that! So, we are actively seeking helpers for organising them, as well as judges and stewards for both on April 9th and 30th. 

At present we have no dedicated Show Superintendent so it will be all hands to the pump first thing! We hope the plant sales will go ahead, and the usual raffle, and would appreciate the donation of the usual cakes and biscuits for refreshments.

Due to serious family illnesses, it is likely that neither our Secretary, Lawrence Wigley, nor President/Treasurer, David Brace, will be able to attend this year’s shows. This is greatly regretted by them both, but they look forward to returning as soon as possible. They have our very best wishes.

Meantime, if you are able to help please contact us via this website. Let’s make up for all our recent trials and have two cracking spring shows.  We’ll see you there… 





At the end of another difficult year when we have been unable to get together, your committee wishes all members a very happy Christmas and a much-improved New Year.

The 2022 Early Primula Show has been cancelled, but we are still hoping to get together later in the year.

We will report on possible shows and any other developments via this website and in Offsets. If you know of any members who are not online it would be great if you could check that they are up to date.

Meanwhile, all the very best wishes to everyone, and here’s hoping for a peaceful New Year




It is with sadness that the Chairman of the Scottish Auricula and Primula society has advised that due to a a variety of reasons it has become necessary for the society to cease activities.

On behalf of the Southern Society we would like to thank both Alison and Mark for their endeavours in promoting our wonderful plants and support to the Southern Section members.

We wish them all the very best for the future.


Well, we can but hope that at some stage in 2021 we’ll be able to get together again. It has been disappointing and dismal without our shows, but at least the plants have kept up their annual beautiful display back home on their benches.

While several of our members have sadly been touched by the Covid virus, we must look forward to a vaccine and getting back to normality as soon as possible.  

This year we did manage to produce a splendid Year Book, and Roger Norgate is already working on the next. If you have any ideas for articles etc. please let him know via this website.

Meanwhile, let’s keep safe, have a happy Christmas, and look forward to better things in the new year.


2020 Year Books were posted in July  and if any members have not receive theirs, then please inform the Hon. Secretary for a replacement. 

In view of the Government’s latest announcement regarding the Coronavirus it has been decided to cancel the Society’s next two shows at Bookham. Many members are in the ‘at risk’ category and understandably not keen to exhibit at this time.
If you can, please inform any members who may not be able to visit the website. Make sure you all keep well, enjoy your plants, and let’s plan for a better year in 2021. 

Well, we may have had a good soaking, but the warmish winter has seen many of our plants already moving and putting up buds. Now is the time we get ready for the spring show season – selecting, tidying and keeping a special eye out for pests such as early bugs and mice, and watching for drips in the greenhouse which can ruin a bloom. 

Our first show is March 14th, the Early Primula Show, when we see some of the earliest plants displayed – many P. allionii are in flower already. It’s our smallest show but   it’s an opportunity to see treasures rarely on view.

Our Primula Show will follow on April 4th, and the main 136th annual Auricula Show on May 2nd . We look forward to meeting members, even if they are not exhibiting it’s a grand opportunity to get together to ‘talk’ plants. 

All our shows at the Old Barn Hall, Great Bookham, KT23 3PQ and open to the public from 2.30p.m. All are welcome and there’s no admission charge.


Let’s hope 2020 is a good one for us and our plants. This is the usual round robin asking members if they would be willing to help out at this year’s shows. Judges, stewards and general helpers are needed, and without volunteers it is becoming increasingly difficult to staff the shows. As reported below, this year too, we will be without our lovely Show Superintendent Mike Brown. So please let us know if you are willing to help. Thank you.


And wishing all members an excellent new year – let’s hope it’s a kind growing year as well.

Some good news – we now have an ‘interim’ Editor for the Year Book – committee member Roger Norgate - so the 2018-19 bumper edition will appear in due course. As members who attended the annual seminar will know we have had a long struggle filling this very important post.  Our regular newsletter will be available in the new year as usual.

We are shocked and saddened to report the recent untimely deaths of two of our stalwarts. Anna-Liisa Sheader, a great lady and alpine plant expert who – alongside her husband Dr. Martin Sheader – was greatly respected for her knowledge and enthusiasm. Her funeral will be private.

Also, Mike Brown, our Show Superintendent, has died after a brave struggle with cancer. Mike worked hard for our Society, and was always cheery and encouraging. He too will be sorely missed. The funeral has taken place.

We send our sincere condolences to both families and friends.