North East Area Chairmen
2019 - date: Janet Ratcliffe, Halifax
2017 - 2019: Ann Harding, Steeton
2015 - 2017: Joan O'Brien, Pennine Borders
2013 - 2015: Sue Spencer, Capelle
2011 - 2013: Sheila Rodgers, Pennine Borders
2009 - 2011: Sue Maddocks, Halifax
2007 - 2009: Louise Nettleton, Headingley
2005 - 2007: Tony Cleaver, New Earswick
2003 - 2005: Margaret Peet, Halifax
2001 - 2003: Norma Dobney
1999 - 2001: Rosalind Walker
1997 - 1999: Pat Martin, Teesside
1995 - 1997: Eugenie Wiener, The Yorkshire
1993 - 1995: Janet Hayton, Acomb
1991 - 1993: Mary Patterson
1989 - 1991: Shirley Clegg, The Yorkshire
1987 - 1989: Muriel Spencer-Willcock
1985 - 1987: Joyce Barlow, Guisborough
1983 - 1985: Margaret Porter
1981 - 1983: Jo Thirlwall
1979 - 1981: Geraldine Hazell
1977 - 1979: Beryl Gray, Teesside
1975 - 1977: Dorothy Gray
1973 - 1975: Alice Bray
1971 - 1973: Elena Raistrick
1969 - 1971: Jo Bragg-Smith, Doncaster
1967 - 1969: Jennie Philipson
1965 - 1967: Jennie Philipson
1963 - 1965: Peggy Greenough, Bradford
1962 - 1963: Margaret Herdson
1961 - 1962: George Smith
1957 - 1963: Margaret Herdson (Founder Chairman)
The Area Historian is Tony Cleaver.
History of the North East Area
In June 1957 a meeting was convened by The Yorkshire Flower Decoration Club at the Royal Station Hotel in York to discuss the formation of a North Eastern Area Association of Flower Clubs in order to gain recognition from The Royal Horticultural Society and to have a link with other like minded Associations throughout the United Kingdom. The Floral Arrangement Association of North East England (FAANEE) was born and covered a huge area – the counties of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland – the land between the Trent and the Tweed.
In 1958 the Area was represented in the decorative tent at the Chelsea Flower Show when mixed spring flowers were used. Eight members worked with the flowers and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, when visiting the tent, congratulated the Area Chairman and said how pleased she was to see the North represented! With the formation of NAFAS in 1959 Mrs Margaret Herdson, founder Area Chairman, served on the caretaker committee.
The Area was active in bringing prominent flower arranging experts to the North. In 1957 Jocelyn Steward of the East of England headed north, in 1958 Area Competitions were held in Harrogate and Julia Clements was one of the judges, the following year a similar event was held with Constance Spry, Stella Coe and Violet Stephenson joining Julia Clements as judges.
In 1965 the clubs in Northumberland and Durham formed their own group within the North East Area and two years later went to form their own Area.
From the Archives : 50 Years Ago (1972)
The Area displayed their floral talents at York Minster with a Festival of Flowers marking the 500th year of the completion of the Gothic building.
The Area held its first residential weekend at Bodington Hall (one of the Leeds University halls of residence). The demonstrator was Jean Taylor and the speaker was Derek Gains. Guest of honour at the Sunday luncheon was the then National Chairman Margaret Hewitt.
From the Archives : 25 Years Ago (1997)
1997 was the North East Area's 40th anniversary so a "Midsummer's Celebration" flower festival was held at the Treasurer's House, York with Eugenie Wiener, Margaret Coates, Jean Lock and Pat Martin leading the design team.
In Whitby that year, 22000 visitors came to see Captain Cook's ship Endeavour. The National Geographic Society invited Mary Patterson to place specimens of Australasian plants on Joseph Banks' table in the Great Cabin.
The North East Area were honoured to be asked to help decorate Westminster Abbey for Pentecost. Two pedestal arrangements were created by Jean Lock and Yvonne Pringle.
From the Archives : 10 Years Ago (2012)
2012 was the middle year of Sheila Rodgers' term of office as Area Chairman. We thought it would be a good idea to ask Sheila to write a few words about her impressions of what was going on in the Area ten years ago. So...over to Sheila...
My term of office began in November 2011 and it was a wonderful experience and a privilege to meet members of the North East at anniversary celebrations, shows, trips and at Council. Some events stand out for me because 2012 was our Emerald Anniversary Year and we had a lovely meal at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate to celebrate.
Ilkley Flower Club led by Lyn Barghout won a gold medal for the Area with “Chicago” and Sally Brass and Kath Dodds did a fabulous exhibit winning gold for us at Southport show.
Margaret Titman did the exhibit at Bournemouth and Pam Russell at Southport. (Both National Shows)
We ran a trip to the Chelsea Show to view the Area team’s exhibit on behalf of NAFAS which won Silver Gilt following a magnificent effort of raising money by the area to fund it.
It was my pleasure to re-introduce the Area weekend and we organised the “Scarborough Spree” where there were workshops, demonstrations and talks to entertain us.
There are many more memories particularly of people being willing to help and work hard and above all, have fun with flowers.
Sheila can be seen on the group picture below, 6th from the right wearing a dark jacket.