Sat 6th Oct 1990

Present Mr. J. G. Hardman – Chairman

Mrs.W. M. Akers – Acting Secretary

Mr. J. L. Akers – Treasurer

Thirty members and guests attended also.

*see above

Apologies were received from R Dulley, Ray Perrandin (in Washington) Don Brears (working) Arthur Hayward (another engagement) Dennis Hopkins (on Holiday) marquis of Hartington (abroad) Ben Kitching (Infirm) lady Boardman (resigned infirm) Peter Goodchild, Geoff Nicholls (infirm) Mrs Barwick, Douglas Willis and Jane Eyre. Mrs J.Elton wrote to say that her husband had recently died.

The Minutes if the last AGM were read and approved.

This had been held on 9th December 1989 at Wrenthorpe Village Hall. There were no matters arising from these.


A good deal of the enquiries from last year and this year had come from articles in the Cottage Garden Socirty’s magazine which Mrs. Audrey Robinson had kindly obtained.

for us to read. The final paragraph of the article had been rather disparaging about the English Florist Tulip making it rather surprising that so much interest had been shown. A few of the many letters received were read out. Two American contacts one of whom, Mr John Kumst, had sent a generous donation. Steps had been taken to send him some bulbs via a member, Mr R. Smales, who was travelling to the USA the following day, these bulbs donated by JL Akers, Mr Frank Keech had offered to help a rogueing programme to help keep the breeders going. All correspondence had been replied to.

Chairman’s welcoming remarks (These should be inserted at the beginning of the minutes)*

Mr Hardman welcomed the good crowd of members and their guests, some had come a considerable distance. Dr Swift from Shropshire, the Royles from Wales and Mrs Harrington and Mr. Dopson from Tonbridge, Wiltshire. After reviewing the extremely warm conditions experienced which had caused such problems before the two shows Mr Hardman stated that they had been a success and were a tribute to the efforts of members to keep their blooms going in various ways in order to show them. He expressed his deep misgivings about the rate that we were losing breeders, he’d had a problem himself over the years. We need to take action rapidly to alleviate the problem. *

Acting secretary’s report

Mrs Akers said she acquired the job mainly because there was no one else readily available and the two shows were imminent.

Keith Eyre had taken his well- earned retirement and flown off to a tropical island holiday. James Akers was working away in Germany. She had very much enjoyed doing the job, the society had become the only tulip society in Britain, and received an amazing number of general enquiries about tulips from various sources, mainly funnelled through the RHS. People doing City and Guilds Floristry, authors writing about tulips related subjects all contacted.

the Wakefield and North of England tulip society. It had also been very interesting looking back through the old minute books and appreciating how long some members had been associated. Mr Hardman was a case inpoint, over 40 years membership. Mr rory McEwen had written with an enquiry in the early 50’s when he was beginning to paint the tulip while still at Cambridge and some one had thoughtfully preserved the letter in the minute book of the time. There have historically only ever been a small committed number of members in the society with the commitment to grow and preserve the English Florist Tulip but membership at the moment is running at a very pleasing level of around 130 members.

Treasurers Report

Mr. J.L. Akers stated that over the past years he made over seventy flights backwards and forwards between this country and Germany and apologised for the extra work this had entailed for his wife in coping with the society’s affairs.

He presented a and tabled a detailed account of the years accounts. He had taken out of the show account the costs of engraving and the crystal goblets and also the value of subscription and donations so that we can get a more accurate understanding of the costs of the show. The society’s finances are in good order and the interest earned on capital is good.

We are not primarily interested in accumulating money but in preserving the tulip and making it possible to have a good show each year. Mr Hardman concurred and said how much better off we were today than thirty years go when they needed to have a collection to pay for room hire.

Room hire costs are becoming very significant ie £21 for an hours meeting at Unity Hall now. The committee had met at Mrs Aker’s home to try to avoid some of these heavy costs. Also stationary and printing costs were escalating, plus postage. He paid tribute to the ingenious methods Keith Eyre had ???? in the past by borrowing copying equipment and saving a great deal of money

Election of Officers

Secreatry – Mrs. W. Akers Proposed by C. Marsh and seconded by M. Hainsworth. Carried unanimously

Treasurer — Mr. J. L. Akers to continue proposed by

K. Eyre — seconded by M Hainsworth

Standing committee : W.Tear, R. Perrandin, C. Marsh, A.Hayward and M. Hainsworthre-elected en bloc

M. Hainsworth proposed and Mr Cotton seconded that K.N. Eyre be added to the committee who would benefit from his long experience. Carried. No new Vice presidents were reelected.

Any other business

Mr. J.L. Akers remarked that it always puzzled him as to why so few new members actually attended the annual show

This wasn’t a criticism, but a general query. It’s the only opportunity to see the flowers ‘live’. One member made the point that there are two main reasons for interest in the English Florist Tulip. One is to preserve and grow something which is both beautiful and historically significant. Only a few members actually want to show to show the tulips and this is an important way of preserving the purity of shape and marking. Many exhibitors this year had been defeated by the season’s hot weather. A short discussion on the problems of the recent warm spring followed.

Discussion of preservation of breeders.

The secretary began the discussion by reading a letter from Mr Victor Roozen advocating drastic action in order to preserve the breeder tulips. He suggested that a commercial grower would have the facilities to rogue all the virus infected bulbs and he would like the breeder tulips to become widely available since they are quite different to the Dutch tulip. Mr Akers described Mr Roozen for those present who didn’t know him. He is a Dutch tulip wholesaler who has supported the English Florist Tulip for several years. He has ensured that a representative selection of breeders is grown in the Holbus Bulborum which is a living museum of tulips in Holland. Mr Akers stated that Mr Roozen perhaps did not appreciate that because of the shortage of breeders currently practically every bulb had to be out to show, this ,making the problem worse each year.

He was right that in the past breeders were of better quality mainly because there were so many of them. Keith Eyre had been most successful in preserving the breeders. Virus free stock was needed to start with and it was now really difficult to guarantee this.

Malcolm Hainsworth described the interest shown by Hull University’s Plant Biology department in respect of a third year student studying the virus/es their stem system to grow a virus free bulb. Mr Eyre said that Jane Eyre has studied this at Askham Bryan and perhaps studies could coordinate information gained.

Mr Maurice Evans commented that he had read an article by Dutch micro-biologists in 1987 RHS year book on this subject.

There was more than one virus involved and it was still not possible to identify which virus caused the desirable breaks. He said the way forward was to raise new breeders from seed. He wondered why most new breeders were bybloomers or bizarres, he hadn’t seen a rose seedling.

JL Akers said two Rose seedlings came to mind ‘H Calvert’ and ‘Akers Rose’ but certainly the best had concentrated on bybloomers and there were more Bizarres anyway.We need seed propagations, John Ollerenshaw and Peter Royles were having most success at the moment. His own seed had low rate of success. John Ollerenshaw said he managed 250 yearly. He found early pollination best. JL Akers said this could be explanation since he usually did his after the shows. Mr Evans said essential to make record of cross made to identify favourable cultivators. Mr Ollerenshaw didn’t agree, his idea was ‘if you only grow it doesn’t matter’ He gets too many germinations to set them all. Mr JL Akers. It was agreed all avenues must be pursued to preserve the breeders and that the discussion has been a profitable one.

Slide show of tulips grown by Albert Tear

All members present gasped when they saw the large beds of individual breeders as grown by Mr Albert Tear. In the absence of Mr W.D. Tear Mr J.L. Aker commented on the slides. The size and number s of each Breeder tulip as they were grown in the 1960’s simply emphasised the problems of loss of breeders of the 1980’s

After tea and a successful raffle which raised the sum of £22.00 from prizes donated by J L Akers, Malcolm Hainsworth and Chris Bone the bulb distribution took place(Dutch bulbs from mesers Parkers had not promised)

We then ended the day by viewing slides from the 1990 show taken by Mr Maurice Evans. Several interesting new seedling breeders were shown. Then a selection of flowers as grown and photographed by Maurice this year, 1990. These were outstandingly good, Mr Evans is a consummate photographer and his flowers are in the main rare and unusual subjects. We are fortunate to have him as a member of the Tulip Society.

The meeting ended at approximately 5.45. pm

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