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History

The British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS) was formed in early 1983 by the amalgamation of two former societies, the National Cactus and Succulent Society (NCSS) and the Cactus and Succulent Society of Great Britain.

Between 1946 and 1969 there was a London Branch of the NCSS which held meetings in the Royal Horticultural Society Hall, Vincent Square in London SW1.

As the membership distribution shifted to the suburbs, and parking in Central London became more problematic, attendance declined. Eventually the old London Branch was closed, with new clubs being formed in suburban London.

Chronology

April 1946

The London Branch was first mentioned in the NCSS Newsletter No 4, 15 April 1946. Hon. Sec Mr R K Byrd, Southall, Mddx.

June 1946

Inaugural meeting on 12th June 1946.

July 1948

The London Branch was completely reorganised under the Chairmanship of Mr K H Wyser.

April 1949

Lecture given by Mr H Jacobson, Curator of the Botanical Gardens, Kiel.

April 1950

The Hon. Sec was Miss B F D Lane, Woking, Surrey. Meetings were held that year at The Royal Horticultural Society Hall. See 1950 Programme.

June 1951

First Show - 60' x 6' at the Royal Horticultural Society, (RHS) on 26 and 27 June. Mrs Vera Higgins presided.

March to June 1953

The London Branch gave Coronation Gift Parcels of three plants to new members. This year the London Branch decided to hold its own show, not with the RHS as previously.

August 1954

Dr R T Craig (of Mammillaria Handbook fame) gave a lecture.

September 1954

Miss W E Dunn took over as Secretary from Miss B F D Lane, who had held that position for six years.

From left to right: Mr E Doubleday, Mr R C Littelwood, Mr F H Lucas, Mr K Pigram, Mr R S Byles, Miss W E Dunn, Miss M Matvieff and Miss V Phinn.

1955

R S Byles, Radio Broadcast on cacti.

1956

Mr K Pigram, Branch Treasurer passed away. R S Byles, Branch Chairman, and Gordon Rowley, were both awarded an NCSS Fellowship.

1961

First Annual Dinner held at Shaftesbury Hotel, London. From 1961 to 1969 meetings were held monthly.

Charity No 290786 – a charity registered in England and Wales