From the Archives…

Carole has been rummaging through her old files and has come across the following papers relating to SEEOG’s history, which may be of interest…

Firstly; correspondence with the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic) from 1993, regarding the setting-up of the ‘Local Group’

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… some press-coverage from around the same time…

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The two books that prompted Carole to form SEEOG in March 1994, are still available from Amazon: “Gardening without Chemicals” by Jack Temple and “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.

SEEOG’s inaugural meeting was held in Southend Central Library with Alan Armstrong, HDRA’s Local Groups Coordinator, as guest speaker.  The Lecture Theatre was packed that night and Carole recalls a few aggrieved people who were not allowed to stand at the back!

… and a newspaper clipping from 2004; when the HDRA asked SEEOG to host their AGM in Hockley on the Saturday, preceded by a ceilidh on Friday evening. Carole recalls that Corinne Layton, another SEEOG member, prepared a beautiful Ploughman’s Supper which was served with a glass of organic wine and local band ‘Garlic Spread’ with caller, Sibby, kept the dancers on their toes!

Southend Standard


The Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic) was initially founded by Lawrence Hills, a horticulturist, and named after a 19th century Quaker smallholder. They were based in Bocking, near Braintree, until 1985; when they moved to a ten-acre site at Ryton, just outside Coventry.

More information on Garden Organic’s history, is available here.