At their first meeting of 2023, members of Clays Horticultural Society enjoyed a break from the usual gardening topics by listening to the interesting true story of the Rufford Park Poachers told by local historian Sam Millard.
This episode took place in 1851 when around 40 poachers had a mass brawl with gamekeepers on the Rufford Estate. This was really a protest against what they felt was unfair control of the wild game by the wealthy land owners when the poor folk were badly in need of food to feed their families. They were confronted by 10 gamekeepers and the savage fight ensued. This led to the death of one man and serious injuries to others. Many of the poachers later faced imprisonment and deportation and the tale of the fight spread far and wide in the pubs and back streets of working-class 19th century England. Sam Millard is bringing the poachers’ tale to life so that a great story will not be forgotten.
The Society’s February meeting was a question and answer session while in March the subject will be ‘Growing, Pruning and Training Fruit Trees’. Deposits have been taken for the group’s holiday to Dorset from 12th to 15th June. There are still a few spaces left and this is open to non-members.
Many interesting talks and outings are planned through the year, culminating in the Society’s 20th birthday celebrations in December. Meetings continue to be held on the third Monday of each month in Wheatley Village Hall at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome.