Halls of Heddon Nursery Centre
During the 80’s the third generation became involved in the business. Niece Maxine at the Ovington Branch in charge of Hardy Border Plants, and Bedding Plant production and son and daughter, David and Judith at Heddon. In 1984 we had the honour to introduce on behalf of Yorkshire’s dahlia stalwart, Neville Weekes, the small semi cactus “Morley Lass”. Sadly, he passed away last November. His contribution to the dahlia was legend. Since the 50’s and 60’s when we exhibited on average at ten shows a year, we have restricted our displays considerably. With the inauguration of the Harrogate Great Autumn Show in 1975, the brainchild of Alan Ravenscroft of the Northern Horticultural Society and Harrogate Parks Director. We have exhibited every year (except 1990 – Gateshead Festival Year) securing either a Gold or Large Gold Medal on every occasion. The fact that the leading dahlia exhibitors from England, Scotland and Wales attended Harrogate had some bearing on this decision. You could call it a central meeting point for all our customers. We welcomed the inauguration during 1985 of the NDS’s exhibition trials at Bradford. This has proved to be a useful exercise and a great help to exhibitor members of the society. Together with the RHS/NDS trials at Wisley, all aspects of the dahlia are covered – except suitability for cut flowers. One of the first varieties to secure recognition at Bradford was ‘Neal Gillson’ (MD) raised by Joe Kidd (Darlington) Northern Committee Member. David Boyd, Newcastle upon Tyne) who will not be unknown to readers of this article, raised his first seedling in 1989 under the name of ‘Cloverdale’ (SD).