Brighton Dome’s Blooming Era of Horticulture

To celebrate Heritage Open Days 2020 we are publishing a series of blogs researched and written by Brighton Dome's heritage volunteers. The blogs reveal the fascinating stories connecting Brighton Dome's history with the Royal Pavilion Estate and the city.

In the early part of the 20th century, the Brighton, Hove and Sussex Horticultural Society held hugely popular events at Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange. Four shows took place across the year in spring, summer, autumn and a special Chrysanthemum exhibition was featured. In 1948, over 15,000 people visited the venues to admire the mass of colour and bloom of the chrysanthemums on display.

In October 1935 the floral extravaganza was the first exhibition to be held at the newly refurbished Brighton Dome. As well as stands of fruit, flowers and vegetables, the venue itself was transformed into what the Sussex Express described as a ‘feast of colour and beauty with great banks of gorgeous blooms all round the sides, in the centre of the building and surrounding the stage from which bands provided delightful music’. Bands from H.M. Royal Artillery (Woolwich), H.M. Royal Air Force and H.M. 1st Battalion of the Worcester Regiment provided visitors with a musical backdrop.

Each show had a schedule describing the different classes, along with the prestigious prizes awarded to the winning exhibits which were featured in the local newspapers.

Written by Heritage Volunteer Alison Dawson

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