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Melksham & District Flower Arrangement Society

Chairman, Caroline Christopher welcomed members and guests back to the club after the Christmas break. 

She reported that the club had supported the Christmas tree festivals at Lacock Abbey and St Mary’s Church in Steeple Ashton with fresh decorations which were enjoyed by visitors over the festive season.

Caroline outlined some of the activities during the coming year, one of which will be a flower festival At St Michael’s and All Angels the parish church in Melksham.  This will be in conjunction with the Round Table Melksham Branch May 11th with more details of this nearer the time

Caroline introduced Sarah Choughlay the guest speaker.  She is the Area Chairman of the Speakers in the NASFA  with her talk Daffidowndilly – the story of daffodils. Her maiden name was Dilly and it was cockney slang for silly. Discovered in hieroglyphics in the Pharaoh’s tombs  probably the Greek legend of Narcissus is the most well-known story about them.  The Romans loved and cultivated the flowers but needed to be wealthy to own them.  They belong to the Narcissus Genus and despite the bulbs being poisonous and the sap from the stems can be an irritant. People love the bright yellow flowers that welcome in spring.

Daffodils were used in literature and art, but their story really develops in the Isles of Scilly when in 1870 the owner of Rocky Hill Farm sent some bunches to Covent Garden on the newly completed railway track to London for which he was paid 7/6p.  This was the start of the industry.

Inevitably bulbs went to Holland and thus they were reproduced for us all to enjoy today at an economic cost. Sarah also taught us how to recognise the Genus by a code using letters.

Marie Curie adopted it for their charity symbol in 1986 representing the lightness after darkness and £120 million for their work has been raised by their events.

Jennifer Evans gave the vote of thanks to a lively and stimulating afternoon.

The next meeting will be Tuesday 21st  February at Spencers Sports Club, Beanacre Road or contact Joyce 01225 776223.