Dig for Victory and the Denbigh Garden Produce Association
During the Second World War, on the 10th September 1940, a national campaign was started by the Ministry for Agriculture to encourage people to cultivate their gardens to produce their own food as part of the overall war effort. The main aim was to free up shipping space for essential war supplies but also to give everyone a sense that they were helping the war effort. Every man and women was encouraged to have their own allotment and nationwide flower beds, parks and even sports pitches were put to good use in the production of food. The campaign was entitled Dig for Victory.
In 1942 the then Mayor of Denbigh, Col. Goronwy Griffith, called a meeting of local gardeners in the town. A committee was elected with Col. Griffith as President and the Officials appointed at this inaugural meeting were: Chairman – Mr Jack Roberts; Secretary – Mr Stephen Davies; Treasurer – Mr Harry Ellis and Production Officer – Mr R A Hughes. The Denbigh Garden Produce Association was formed.
The Denbigh Flower Show
The initial Shows were held in the County Hall, Denbigh and the first outdoor Show was held at Lower Park, on Saturday 17th August 1946. There were two marquees filled with exhibits of flowers, fruit and vegetables etc and the Show was officially opened by the ‘Day President’ E G E Griffith Esq, Plas Newydd, Trefnant, with admission 2/-; Children 6d.The famous Edge Hall L M S Prize Band marched through the town and played on the field – it was a fine day and a large crowd attended. The outside entertainment included Children’s and Adult Sports and Gymkhana Events followed by Boxing Contests. In the evening there was Community Singing and at 9.30 pm , a firework display.
Subsequent Shows were held at Middle Park, Denbigh (field running along the St David’s Church footpath and Goblin Farm); Colomendy Fields (now the Colomendy Housing Estate); Tyn-yr-Eithin Farm Fields, Mold Road and Myddleton Park (now Myddleton Park Housing Estate).
During the 1950’s and early 1960’s, Horse Jumping competitions were very popular and two young riders who competed regularly for a number of years at the Show during that period later went on to achieve success in the International Arena and the Olympic Games, namely Wilf White and David Broome.
In 1967, the Committee purchased Lon Felin Field on Ystrad Road which continues as the permanent site to this day
In 1986, Mr Elwyn Davies, a friend of the show made a video film of the Show and the preparations with his brand new video camera, a relatively new concept at that time. The Film was shown at the Christmas fundraiser in the Church Institute later that year. This has now been uploaded onto Youtube and appears courtesy of Alan Peters, Photographic Memories of Denbigh (yn nigh). Well worth a look!
The Denbigh Show
In early 2007, the Committee took the decision to modify the name of the Show to The Denbigh Show. Although the Flower Show is still a main feature of the day, the title no longer reflects how diverse the event has become. It is one of the few annual family events held within the boundaries of the town, offering a great variety of family entertainment from pre-school to pensioners and brings together a whole host of local organisations in a celebration of the best of the Town. In 2020, a decision was made not to hold a Show for the first time in our history due to the ongoing Covid 19 Global Pandemic. Unfortunately, this was also the case in 2021 as the country struggled to cope with new variants of the virus and ongoing uncertainty around holding events safely. Thankfully, in our 80th Anniversary year of 2022, we are now able to hold our 78th annual Show.
Cups & Trophies
We are working on producing a catalogue of all our cups and trophies – with pictures of them- and have painstakingly noted down every inscription some of which go back to the Show’s beginnings in 1942. We will continue to develop this and will put in all the recent winners. Unfortunately the Show stopped routinely engraving trophies in the late 70’s as it was too expensive, logistical nightmare and in most cases we were running out of space on which to engrave! Have a look at the list – you may see your great grandfather among the names! If there are any gaps regarding the history of any of the trophies and you know something, please let the Secretary know.