Bromley Beekeepers celebrated one hundred years.
We are delighted that our branch is 100 years old.
On Wednesday, 23rd May 1917 a meeting of the Western Division of Kent Beekeepers Association voted to form a Bromley branch.
Meetings were held regularly at members’ apiaries and there was also a busy lecture programme. The first mention in Bromley’s minutes of a meeting at Kent House Road allotments “opposite the end of Woodbastwick Road” is in March 1931 with a meeting arranged at Mr Brown’s apiary for some time in July or August.
Regular meetings and lectures continued and in June 1939 it was decided that we should have a branch apiary. This was soon put on hold with the start of World War II and it was not until 1948 that a branch apiary club was formed. The minutes refer to a site at Holwood Park with meetings on the first Saturday of the month. Whether it was set up there is not documented and, if so, when meetings were no longer held at Holwood Park but what is clear is that apiary meetings took place regularly and by January 1968 Peter Springall was apiary manager. He continued in this role until his death in 2011.
One hundred years on, on the 23rd May 2017 a celebration was held at the Kent House Road Leisure Gardens where we have our apiary and we were pleased to welcome special guests John Hendrie, who is currently President of the British Beekeepers Association, Lesley Fancote, President of Kent and David Bragg, Chairman of Kent.
We currently have a membership of around 100 and we are fortunate to have a number of members who give their time helping with outside events, running courses, giving talks and doing numerous other jobs which keep the branch running. A significant amount of work has been undertaken on the site in the last couple of years and we are grateful to the members who organise this and those who help.
Quite what the next one hundred years has in store is impossible to forecast but I am sure the 1917 committee would be pleased to find Bromley Beekeepers in such good heart.