The Tiptree Horticultural Society was founded on April 17th 1903 by, amongst others Mr Arthur Charles Wilkin (who went under the name of Tiptree Tom) great grandfather of Mr Peter Wilkin, present day Chairman of Wilkin and Sons.

The Society originally embraced the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights, Messing and Inworth and its' first president was the Hon C H Strutt with 9 Vice Presidents and A C Wilkin as one of it's' secretaries.

The first exhibition was held in the National Schoolrooms, Tiptree Heath on September12th 1903. 145 exhibits were entered for 235 prizes totalling £23.10s. It is worth mentioning here that there were more prizes than usual for such exhibitions because this was Tiptrees' first show and they didn't like being behind other parishes. Despite the growing season being one of the worst for 20 years (nothing changes) the exhibits were judged as "remarkably fine" and it was noted that one exhibitor a Mr P R Morse entered a collection of fruit and that "his apples and pears were judged as good as his grapes and tomatoes which is saying a great deal". Also as an indication of society in 1903 it was mentioned that a number of "Gentlemen" sent collections, not for competition, and their "Gardeners" were awarded RHS certificates.

Originally there was only 1 show per year which was always held in July at Messing Park, the home of Capt J E C Eaton Esq. The venue later changed to Tiptree Playing Field in Grove Rd.

The Show Schedule for July 6th 1929 lists total prize money of £68. 8s (an incredible amount of money at that time) with top prizes of £1 each being awarded for; "a table decoration 6ft x 3ft", "the best cultivated allotment", "the best cultivated garden", and "the best cultivated allotment or garden for British Legion members only".

The children's exhibits included "under garment in white material handmade" and several classes of needlework, stitchery and darning all with top prizes of 2/6d (half a crown).

Added attractions to the Shows included, Children's Decorated Cycle Competition, Ladies Ankle Competition, Bowling for Goose? Baby Show. Fancy Dress, Cage Bird Show, Ladies Keep Fit Display, Judo Demonstration as well as Bert Stock's Electric Fair, Stalls and Amusements.

The minutes of the committee meeting April 4th 1930 record that 21 shopkeepers had been written to with regard to them closing for half a day in respect of the Show. The Co-operative stores agreed and other shopkeepers said that they would close if the other stores agreed to do likewise. The Band of the Essex Yeomanry was booked to play at a cost of 15 guineas plus cost of transport from Colchester and arrangements were also made for the services of 3 Police Constables for the day. Also in that year the name changed from Tiptree Horticultural Society to Tiptree and District Horticultural Society for the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights, Messing, Inworth and Layer Marney.

In 1968 two shows were held, the Summer Show in July at Tiptree Playing Field and an Autumn Show in September at Factory Hall by kind permission of Mr A F Wilkin. It was then extended to 3 Shows per year, the Spring and Autumn Shows at Factory Hall and the Summer Show at Tiptree Playing Field. This continued until 1982 when the Spring and Autumn Shows were then transferred to Tiptree United Football and Social Club, Chapel Rd and in 1986 all 3 Shows were held at the Football Club. The Summer Show was eventually dropped in 1991 and the Society has continued to the present day with a Spring and Autumn Show. In 2002 Tiptree United FC won a place in the final of the FA Vase which was played at Chapel Rd and the Society was then forced to find another venue.Thurstable School was chosen which is where our 2 Shows are now held.

In March 2000 a small group decided to try and establish a Garden Club to run alongside The Horticultural Society with monthly meetings for discussions, quizzes and guest speakers. These were held at Tiptree Resource Centre (now unfortunately burned down) and became so popular that the venue was soon outgrown. The monthly meetings were then transferred to St Luke's extension and have been held there ever since.

At the A.G.M. in 2001 it was proposed to change the name to Tiptree Garden Club which angered a lot of people. After a long and heated discussion a compromise was reached and it became the Tiptree Garden Club and Horticultural Society.

Today we have over 100 members and have monthly guest speakers on the 1st Thursday of each month together with our 2 annual shows. The monthly meetings and shows are open to anyone regardless of where they live and a friendly atmosphere is guarenteed.

Tiptree Garden Club Constitution

1 Name
The organization ( formerly known as “Tiptree Garden Club & Horticultural Society ) shall be known as the “The Tiptree Garden Club” henceforth known as 'the Club'. The Club shall be affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) by members vote at the AGM.

2 Objectives
The objectives of the Club are to encourage local community interest and improvement in the cultivation of flowers, fruit and vegetables through a varied and programmed set of events benefitting members:
(a) Social meetings, including speakers on horticultural and other related matters
(b) Competitive horticultural shows
(c) Outings, visits and events.

3 Membership
Annual membership is open to all members of the public with an interest in horticulture. A member is a person who has paid a valid subscription, approved by the Chairman or their nominated officer.
All members shall have equal voting rights at general meetings.
The committee may refuse a membership application. A record shall be made and the individual advised. The committee may terminate membership, provided it is in the best interests of the Club to do so. The member shall be given the right to be heard by committee before a decision is reached. They may be accompanied by a friend.

3.1 Subscription
Individual members shall pay an annual subscription. The rate shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting. Subscriptions are due and payable each year from 1st October to the 30th September.

3.2 Benefits
Membership of the Club entitles members to attend programmed events at a reduced rate. Membership also attracts a reduced entry charge for exhibit entries at the Club’s horticultural shows. Reductions shall be as determined at the Annual General Meeting.

3.3 Life Members
Honorary life members are defined as those who have provided outstanding service to the Club. No membership fee will be sought from those accepted as honorary life members. Nominations can only be made by a committee member. Acceptance will be by majority vote of the committee. There should be a maximum of six honorary life members, at any one time.

4 Officers
Elected Officers shall be President, Vice President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Honourable Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Publicity Officer and such officers whose appointment shall be considered desirable by the Committee.
Note: A President and Vice President shall be elected but will only act in an advisory role to the committee, as required.

5 The Committee
The business of the Club shall be conducted by a committee ('the committee').The Committee shall consist of both elected officers and volunteer members.
Committee meetings will be held on a monthly basis and minutes shall be recorded. Unless otherwise determined, a quorum shall be the Chairman or their nominated representative and four other committee members. Issues considered at committee meetings may be determined by simple majority of votes cast. All committee members (Including officers) shall have full voting rights.
The committee shall have powers to co-opt additional officers or committee members as necessary in support of Club activities.

6 Meetings
6.1 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The Club shall hold an AGM every calendar year. A quorum shall consist of the Chairman, Honourable Secretary, Honourable Treasurer or their nominated representatives, plus at least 20% of the membership.
The Chairman and Honourable Secretary, or their nominated representatives, shall submit their annual reports. The Honourable Treasurer or their nominated representative, shall also submit their annual report and audited Club accounts.
Previously elected officers shall retire each year, but shall be eligible for re-election. Officers for the ensuing year shall be elected by majority vote of the members present. A financial examiner shall also be appointed. No committee member shall be eligible to act as the financial examiner.
All members are entitled to stand for election. Those members not present at the AGM, but wishing to be considered for election, shall present their signed nomination, along with the name and signature of a proposer and seconder, to the Honourable Secretary in advance of the meeting.
Annual subscriptions and reduced member rates for programmed events and show entry fees, shall be reviewed and altered only with a majority vote of those members present.
Any proposed alterations to this constitution shall be forwarded in advance to the Honourable Secretary. Changes shall only be agreed with a majority vote of those members present.

6.2 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)
These meetings shall only be held at such times that the Chairman or their nominated representative receive a request in writing of at least five other committee members or 20% of the total membership. Notice shall be sent to all members at least 14 days in advance. No other business than that detailed in the notice shall be transacted at an EGM. A quorum shall consist of the Chairman, Honourable Secretary, Honourable Treasurer or their nominated representatives, plus at least 20% of the membership.

7 Horticultural Shows
7.1 Rules & Regulations
Shall be as specified in the published annual programme of shows.

7.2 Club Trophies
Management of Club Trophies shall be the responsibility of the Chairman with general duties delegated to nominated committee member/s. Club trophies shall be presented at Club horticultural shows. These will be held by the exhibitor for either a 6 or 12 month period as determined by the committee. Reimbursement for any substantial damage or loss sustained whilst in the care of an exhibitor should be agreed by committee, and then pursued with the individual concerned. General upkeep of trophies will be financed through Club funds.

8 Finance
The committee shall make sure that the Club keeps sound financial records and audited accounts. The financial year shall be from 1st October to 30th September.
All monies raised by or on behalf of the Club, shall be used solely to further the objectives of the Club and only in ways approved by the committee.
The Club shall open one or more accounts with a reputable bank or building society. All bank or building society accounts shall be in the name of the Club. All monies received from any source shall be passed to the Honourable Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer and paid into such account/s. Cheques drawn from Club accounts shall be signed by any two of the following:– The Chairman or Treasurer (or assistant) and Vice Chairman or any other official of the Club. To cover small cash payments, petty cash not exceeding £20 per transaction, may be drawn.
Accounting records relating to the Club shall be available for inspection by any member of the committee at any reasonable time.
Audited financial statements shall be approved at the AGM.

9 Dissolution
A decision to wind up the Club shall only be taken at an AGM or EGM. There must be a majority vote in favour of the proposal to wind up the Club by those attending the meeting. In the event that a decision to wind up the Club is agreed, the meeting shall then appoint a committee of not fewer than three and but no more than seven, to oversee the disposal of Club assets. The meeting shall give clear indication of the use to which any remaining funds shall be put and the appointed committee shall abide as closely as possible to wishes expressed.
Donated club trophies shall be offered back to the donator, wherever possible. Remaining trophies shall be dispersed or disposed off at the discretion of the appointed Committee.

10 Matters not provided for
Any matters not provided for within this constitution shall be dealt with at the discretion of the Committee.

11 Review
The committee shall review the Constitution at least every 5 years and any proposed changes to the approved
Constitution shall be presented to the members for discussion at the following AGM.