The roots of Costessey Flower Club have grown from the small seeds sown when a few ladies were receiving instruction in the art of flower arranging from Mrs Elsie Ritchie under the Further Education scheme held at the Junior School in Costessey.
An inaugural meeting was held in November 1971 when 47 ladies attended. From this response the Club was officially formed and held its first meeting on 3rd February 1972. The meeting was fixed for the first Thursday in each month, the venue Breckland Hall, Costessey, and the subscription £2.00 per year. A committee of ten was elected, the founder Chairman being Mrs Doris Waymark.
The majority of members were complete strangers to a Flower Club and naturally some fell by the wayside, whilst others including some from surrounding villages joined the club. The Club affiliated to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (N.A.F.A.S.) and the Norwich Group of Flower Arrangement Clubs.
During its formation year in 1972 the Club took part in a Norwich Group Competition at the Royal Norfolk Show and received a V.H.C. award. Members nights were held to aid and encourage those new to flower arranging. Eleven meetings were held each year in Breckland Hall and once a year a visit was arranged to a private garden. A sales table and trading stall of plants and produce flourished, and soon became part of the monthly meeting. Members competitions were held with the Doris Waymark Cup being awarded annually to the member who gained the most points from these. A novice class was also run with promotion to the experienced class after the member had gained three Firsts in the novice section.
In 1973 Doris Waymark was invited to speak on the Club’s constitution at the Area Members Day held at Drayton and was also elected to the Norwich Goup Committee. The highlight of the year was designing and being responsible for the first Flower Festival ever to be held in Costessey. This was at the new St Helens’ Church which is just seven months younger than Costessey Flower Club.
The Annual General Meeting of the Club took the form of a supper for which the committee catered. The Area Publicity Officer, Mrs Margaret Barker attended this meeting and gave an insight into N.A.F.A.S. publications for the benefit of members. The club gained Third prize at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Many of the traditions of the Club set up in the first years still stand now. The meetings continue to be held in Breckland Hall, Costessey on the first Thursday of each month starting at 7.30pm. The Club has a Committee of volunteers who meet at regular intervals to ensure the smoothly planning and execution of the monthly meetings as well as undertaking some officials roles such as President, Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The format of the monthly meetings usually includes a demonstration of flower arranging by a local or national demonstrator. The tradition of raffling off the arrangements made by the demonstrator remains, helping to support the funding of the clubs meetings.At each meeting the extensive Sales Table continues to enable members to purchase flower arrangeing materials and on occasions specific competitions or exhibitions are held. Refreshements are provided following the demonstration enabling members to continue to socialise whilst viewing the arrangements close up.
The A.G.M. is held in the first quarter of the year and the tradition of a supper sytle event run by the committee still remains now. During the summer months a visit to a garden or a garden party continue to prove popular with members.
In 2011 Costessey Flower club went “online” with the launch of this website.
In 2012 Costessey Flower Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary by way of a celebration dinner and by inviting several of our “old favourite” demonstrators back to run special anniversary sessions during the year.