- 30 August 2012
Four Oaks Nurseries was set up on a 2 acre greenfield site by brothers Stuart and Arthur Coutts in 1964 for the production of bedding plants. The Vicar of Chelford had the foresight to help them source land as he could see potential employment for local people and particularlymarried women in a rural area. The brothers pioneered the use of supplementary lighting in seedling production, working closely with Manchester University's Botany Department at Jodrell Bank and Norweb, the local Electricity Board. The first "Four Oaks Open Day" was organised in 1971 by Norweb to promote the use of growing rooms in commercial horticulture. Over 400 local growers visited and 4 trade exhibitors had a presence - one of which, Henry Alty is still here 40 years on.
By 1979, there were around 80 exhibitors and at this stage Four Oaks took over the organisation and it became the "Four Oaks Trade Show", with myself at the helm. The 1980s were the boom years. Huge numbers of small growers and grower retailers were the backbone of the industry and at this stage the show was one day only. Two years of preview evenings proved the need for an extra day and in 1991 during the last recession the show became a 2 day event which was a turning point. This brought in the European exhibitors with masses of hardy stock, mature trees and Mediterranean plants, changing the profile of the show.
The business was bought by Richard Harding in 2002 which secured the future of the site and the show has continued to prosper with his support. At a time when other shows in the industry are reinventing themselves, Four Oaks goes from strength to strength - "Four Oaks is Forever".
Foru Oaks Trade Show - September 4th - 5th 2012
Source: Four Oaks Trade Show