A LEADING Gourock gardening club is cancelling its autumn show for the first time in its 67 year history.

The town’s horticultural society says a lack of people to run the event has forced the drastic action.

President George Irvine says the organisation has had to rethink the way it operates due to an ageing membership.

Mr Irvine said: “It’s the first time in the history of the society we’ve cancelled the autumn show.

“We also had to cancel our spring show this year too.

“There’s a lack of volunteers, brought about by an ageing membership who are no longer able to devote the several days of time required to shows where there are an increasing number of entries, particularly in children’s classes.

“It’s sad that it’s happening but it’s the only solution right now.”

Mr Irvine added: “A lot of hard work goes into the preparation.

“If you double the number of entries you have to double the number of judges.

“We are a victim of our own success.”

George says the society needs new people to come in and help take the group forward.

He said: “We have around 100 members but a lot of them don’t get out much now. Some have been members for 50 years and are getting on in years.

“We need new blood, people who are interested in actively becoming involved in the shows rather than being a ‘sleeping member’.”

Mr Irvine has been president for 22 years and was poised to stand down but there were fears that would see the society disband completely.

He said: “The committee didn’t want it to fold and it was agreed at the annual general meeting to do things differently, so I decided to stay on.

“Evening meetings will be replaced with daytime events, which will hopefully attract new members and will be more orientated to a practical gardening club.”

He added: “It’s not a financial problem, it’s a people problem.”

If anyone would like to join the society they should contact Mr Irvine on 633348.