Sorell Rose Shows

Thanks to Dawn Gatehouse for writing this post and providing the photos for this #OnePlaceShows

History of Sorell Rose Show

The late Keith Ward lived at Dunalley then moved to Sorell and was on the Sorell Council for a time. Keith joined the Sorell and Districts Garden Club. He had a dream to see a Rose Show held in the St Georges Hall and Rose Garden and after a few years of persuasion, some of the Garden Club members took on the challenge and held the first Rose Show in 2009 in St Georges Hall and surrounds.

In the second year the Rose Show moved to the supper room at the Memorial Hall while renovations were carried out in the St Georges Hall. The Rose Show returned to the St Georges Hall for a number of years. The show included classes for specimen roses, containers of roses and other flowers, fruit and vegetables. Floral Art was on display and the Rose was celebrated in other ways through photography and art and craftwork. In the early days there were also classes for children.

Roses in beer bottles

Example of schedule

Section A – Roses

  1. 1 Bloom – Red/Crimson
  2. 1 Bloom –  White/Cream
  3. 1 Bloom – Pink/Rose
  4. 1 Bloom – Yellow/Apricot
  5. 1 Bloom – Bi-colour/tricolour rose
  6. 1 Bloom – Any other colour rose
  7. 1 Bloom – Full blown rose, stamens must show 
  8. 1 Bloom – Single flowered rose (no more than 7 petals)
  9. 1 Bloom – David Austin/old fashioned rose
  10. 1 Stem – Cluster-flowered roses
  11. 1 Container – David Austin Roses
  12. 1 Container – Cluster-flowered Roses
  13. 1 Container – Miniature Roses
  14. 1 container – Roses of mixed Variety

Containers for specimen roses supplied by Committee.  All other containers to be supplied by the Exhibitor.

Other blooms

Section B – Other

  1. 1 Container – Irises
  2. 1 Container – any other flower variety
  3. 1 Container of one variety of fruit or vegetables –at least 3 pieces
  4. Box or basket of mixed home-grown fruit, vegetables, nuts or herbs.
  5. Collection of herbs.

All flowers or produce in Sections A & B to be grown by the exhibitor.

Fruit and vegetables

Section C – Floral Art

  1. Arrangement using 1 Rose Bloom and other plant material
  2. Mantel arrangement  frontal effect
  3. Floral design suitable for a table centrepiece
  4. Miniature Arrangement (under 10 cm any direction)
  5. Arrangement in unusual container.

Flowers in Section C need not be grown by the exhibitor.

Section D – Photography, Art and Craft.

    1. 1 Photo of a rose or roses postcard size ( 15cmx10cm)
    2. Set of 3 separate rose studies post card size (15cmx10cm)
    3. Photo of a garden scene with roses.
  • Any article of art or craft featuring a rose or roses ( Could be painting, embroidery, crochet, sculpture, gift card)          Exhibits to be no more than 2 years old.

           Photos to be mounted on card with 2.5cm edging. 

Visitors at the show

After a number of years, the Rose Show ceased to happen and the garden club disbanded.

In 2018 the Lions Club took on the request to revive the Sorell Rose Show. It was necessary to stage this event in the Lions Clubrooms as it was not viable to pay to hire another facility. Since then the Sorell Rose Show has been a successful small one-day event. Garden stalls are held outside, light luncheon is served, a prize is given for each section although there is no prize money for each class. It is free to enter and admission is at a small cost.

The Sorell Rose Show has become a colourful, pleasant and friendly event.

My Family and Agricultural Shows

Thanks to Helen White for this post as part of the #OnePlaceShows

When an application addressed to the Lieutenant Governor and signed by Mr Edward Lord and others, to hold a public meeting with the intention of forming an Agricultural Society, was published in the Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser on Saturday 8 December 1821, the signature of my 3 x great grandfather, Horatio Mason, was affixed to it.

Horatio William Mason arrived in Van Diemen’s Land aboard “Saracen” on 25 April 1820. He was not a farmer, although he had applied for and was granted land at Pittwater; 2000 acres between the Coal River and Orielton Rivulet, he was a trader and soon divest himself of the property.

Another 3-x great grandfather, George Marshall arrived in Hobart Town aboard the brig “Thalia” on 22 April 1822, twelve months after the formation of the Van Diemen’s Land Agricultural Association in 1821 and just days after the meeting on 15 April 1822, which resolved to hold the first Annual Show.

Read newspaper article for further information.

The intention to hold the first Annual Show of the Van Diemen’s Land Agricultural Society might have been the ‘talk of the town’ when he first arrived the week after that meeting. It may have been then that he resolved to participate as an exhibitor at his first opportunity.

Mr. Marshall immediately set about applying for grant of land, but there was some delay in his grant being approved. While awaiting the results of his application he took up a lease on “Noble Farm”, at Pittwater (now Sorell).

The Annual Show to be held on 10 January 1824, gave George Marshall his first opportunity to exhibit and he did so and won the medal for the best boar bred in Van Diemen’s Land. I am unaware if the medal survived in the family, the desire to exhibit certainly did.

Click article to read rest of results

To the best of my knowledge this was his only entry in an Agricultural Show in Hobart Town, but George Marshall was one of the group of farmers in the Richmond/Pittwater District to establish the Richmond Agricultural Society in December 1835, later to become the Southern Tasmanian Agricultural Association. While I have found no record of him exhibiting himself, he remained on the Committee for many years and judged occasionally, but his sons competed regularly entering prime stock and horses in the competitions.

My 2-x great grandfather Thomas Marshall (“Noble Farm”, Sorell) had some success exhibiting draught horses. His brothers, George Marshall Jnr (“Sunnyside”, Sorell) and Edward Marshall (“Cornhill”, Sorell) both exhibited and won prime cattle classes. Thomas’s principal interest was the breeding of draught animals and in order to promote the sires he used and the sale of horses he bred, he travelled to and exhibited at the first Melton Mowbray Agricultural Association Exhibition in December 1864.

Thomas Marshall – click to read rest of article

The family involvement with shows has continued to the present day with Life Member Paul Marshall and his family, who stewarded the Commercial Lamb Section of the Royal Hobart Show for many years.

My grandfather, Joel Harvey (he married Kathleen Letitia Marshall) exhibited ‘Fat Lambs’ for many years during the 1930’s and won 3 Jubilee Cups (one for each son). It is quite possible that a relative of mine has been a member of an Agricultural Society in Tasmania since the formation of the Richmond Agricultural Society in 1835, there is certainly been Marshall’s farming in Tasmania since the arrival of George Marshall Snr in 1822.

Readers: Have any of your ancestors been mentioned in results from Agricultural Shows in the district?

Y for Yachting

Melinda Reed adapted this entry from a Mac Story article in Pitt Water Chronicles Vol 1.

Boats were an important aspect of life around Pittwater from the 1800’s. The alternatives were an extra 20 miles around the north of the water body by land or 40 miles by sea.

Sailing and rowing regattas on Pittwater were frequent in the early days of settlement and planked Snipe Class yachts continued to race in the Lewisham area, up until the late 1950’s. Speed boat racing was also common in the Lewisham area, at least into the early 70’s. While power boat activity continued near Lewisham, the power boat and water skiing activity at Midway Point had ceased, so a road access and all-weather launching ramp was built in the 1968/69 sailing season.

Sailing craft at Midway Point in the late 1960’s included several Mirror dinghies, a Sabot, a TS 16, a clinker planked dinghy, a Moth class, a Lightweight Sharpie, a trimaran, a Cadet Dinghy and even a sand yacht on Five Mile Beach. There were also a couple of cruising yachts and
inboard motor boats.

MPYC sand yacht 5 Mile Beach c1968

Mac Story organised a sailing race around the two islands to the South of the causeway – this saved laying marker buoys and made for a light hearted adventure for newcomers to sailing races. After the Island Race, Story convened informal meetings and ran three more races above the causeway. Enthusiastic family members were starters and time-keepers and Mr Cyril Bond provided his motor boat and seamanship as a safety service. The Club’s home base at the end of Brady Street was established on land owned by Mr WJ Reynolds.

During the winter of 1968, informal meetings and fundraising activities ramped up. Brian and Jacqui Dawson donated a new dinghy as a raffle prize for a boat show at the local hall. At a time when many wage earners were only paid $40 per week, $156 was raised from various sources. Mrs Pat Webberly, Mrs Pat Whitehead, Mrs Marchant, Mrs Ros’ Buckland and Mrs Freda Ziegler went on to become expert fundraisers for the Club, with money raised from raffles and Christmas tree sales going toward Club facilities and ongoing roadworks.

The Public Meeting to officially launch the Club was held on Tuesday 6th June 1968 and was attended by 21 people who elected the inaugural committee: Mr M Story, Mr J Whitehead, Mr T Miller, Mr B Marchant, Mr T Buckland, and Mr J Miller. A constitution was developed, Midway Point Yacht Club was granted membership of the Tasmanian Yachting Association and consequently the Australian Yachting Association, with membership enabling local sailors to compete in events at other clubs and at regattas, plus sailing championships anywhere in Australia.

MPYC racing across Pittwater

From the 1968 beginnings, the Midway Point Yacht Club became known as a friendly club where women of any age were encouraged to crew or skipper a sailing boat. Debbie Green was a very early crew along with Pam Webberly and Pat Whitehead. During the 1969/70 Tasmanian Mirror Dinghy Championships, MPYCs first all-female crew of Pat Whitehead and Elsa Story scored a creditable 5 th placing in a field of 20 male crews. Over the following years many female sailors have amplified the early example.

Membership rose to over 100 enthusiastic members in the first two years. Along with many clubs the MPYC membership dropped after a few years and then rose again. Today it is a strong and active club with a solid membership base and training programs. The club house and the modern jetty, along with launching and rigging areas are now suitable for all manner of sailing events, including state championships. MPYC was awarded the Tasmanian Yacht Club of the Year in 2017. In 2020 MPYC became a direct member of Australia Sailing.