The Club is now in its 90th year although the present format is unrecognisable from the early days when it was known as the Otterton Chrysanthemum Fruit and Vegetable Society. We have a very interesting list of speakers lined up for the coming year. In fact looking through the programme, there is not one that I am not looking forward to. Grateful thanks to Angela and Jan for organising the list.

The Spring Show appears to be safe for 2019 (weather permitting). However, Iain, the current Show Secretary has expressed a desire to stand down from the position after that show and although we have a schedule prepared for the Autumn Show, at the time of writing we have no one prepared to undertake the Show Secretary’s role. Although we have a good committee at present, there are various reasons as to why none of us feels able to do it. So do you or someone you know feel able to take on the job? All possible assistance will be given to the new person. If you are interested in seeing the shows continue, please contact me or any other member of the committee whose details can be found on page 2 of this Yearbook. It would be a great shame to see the shows disappear as they have been an ever-present in the history of the Club and judging by the reaction when we took the difficult decision to cancel the 2018 Spring Show due to bad weather, would be greatly missed.

Looking back at 2018, most of the meetings were well attended and in particular, the talk by Tom Sharples on “New Varieties and Techniques in Vegetable Growing” attracted a good number of guests. Another highlight was the talk by Mark Hinsley on “Trees and the Law”. This was much more interesting than the title would have you believe. Many thanks to Sharon and Muriel for organising those talks.

As mentioned above, the difficult decision was taken to cancel the 2018 Spring Show due to the bad weather. Things were also looking bleak for the Autumn Show following the long and very hot summer. However the gardeners of Otterton and other supporters came up trumps and we were able to stage a very good show. Sincere thanks to you all.

Sadly, Ro and Suzanne have decided to stand down from the Committee after a good number of years. Ro has been Chairman and Secretary at various times as well as preparing the yearbook and publicity posters amongst other things, while Suzanne has undertaken the roles of Show Secretary and Minutes Secretary. Both will be sorely missed on the committee. No doubt we will be seeing them at the meetings and shows where their help and expertise will probably be called upon.

Finally thank to the members for your continued support and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at events in 2019.

Eric Paver