The HTA was founded in 1899; an organisation formed by its members, for members. Their main aim, to represent horticultural tradesmen to deal with the issues they faced as an industry, still drives us today. The new organisation enabled united action in matters such as, railway rates, foreign competition, and taxation. When 60 men gathered at Garden Hall in 1899, they could never have known how what they started would grow and adapt. 

An important part of our heritage is the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme. It was first proposed in 1937 but not implemented until 1962. Now it’s a scheme that’s increasingly drawing on new technologies to bring even more shoppers into our members’ businesses.  But as well as that you’ll see from the dates below that we’ve been providing advice, training and support for decades.

An early meeting of the HTA

 

1899 HTA Founded
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1908 Poisons and Pharmacy Act became law. Enables dealers other than pharmacists to sell weed killers, allowing purchasers to be given advice based on practical experience
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1918 Nurserymen and other skilled horticultural workers gains place as an essential occupation exempt from military service
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1939 War breaks out. Timing of branch meetings change  to allow for the blackout
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1942 HTA head offices bombed, but HTA keeps calm and carries on
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1949 Gift voucher scheme and cost reduction deals up for discussion
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1958 Nursery proficiency certificates to help young workers build their professionalism
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1962 National Garden Gift Voucher scheme launched
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1968 Members meet to discuss the impact of decimalisation
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1980 The first female president of the HTA, Eva Lewis is elected, a post she held until 1988.

We’re incredibly proud of our history, but even more excited by the future.  Our mission remains the same; to help the garden industry to flourish. We’re looking forward to providing the lobbying, marketing, training and information to help our members stay fit for the future.