In the late 1970s a group of members of the OSGB (the Orchid Society of Great Britain) living in and around Croydon decided to set themselves up as a small group to promote the cultivation and display of orchids in their local area. The first meeting, with visiting guests and a friendly drink, took place in the Addiscombe Woodside and Shirley Leisure Centre Gardens in October 1979.
Meetings have continued at roughly monthly intervals ever since then. In the beginning they were held at various members’ homes and church halls. Later Glenthorne Allotments became the regular location for gatherings. Members affectionately remember the “potting shed” environment very well, particularly how hot it was in summer and how bitterly cold in winter, along with the dark walk to and from the car park. The group has now moved to much better premises with carpeted floors, central heating and comfortable seating. We have our own kitchen, free parking and a well-lit passage to the meeting room.
In 2016 the group became a society with membership of the British Orchid Council (BOC) and affiliations to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Orchid Society of Great Britain.
The group has always been blessed with some talented members providing many superb plants for various shows, even mounting displays as individuals at London and National events. Equally, the Society has been happy to encourage new members who are just starting out along the road to orchid growing. Indeed, the Croydon and District Society is always looking to swell its numbers either by recruiting from the OSGB or finding local people with an enthusiasm for orchids. We are a friendly society and members are always happy to give their expertise and knowledge to foster the wider care and cultivation of orchids.
Every year the society organises an Autumn Show. Everyone is welcome to attend. For the date and venue of this year's show, see our Calendar of Events. Come along and join us, even bring a plant or two for the Show Table and enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake. There are always plenty of plants for sale for both windowsill and specialist growers available.
The Society also puts on displays and gives talks and demonstrations at various horticultural shows. Our meetings are generally held at 19.30 on the first Tuesday of every month at Wallington United Reformed Church, Stanley Park Road, Wallington, SM6 0EU. (For directions how to get there see Where We Meet.)
Chairman Derek Belcher
Secretary Michael Penney
Treasurer Len Jeffries
Website Michael Penney