History of the Area
In June 1957 a meeting was convened by The Yorkshire Flower Decoration Club at the Royal Station Hotel in York to discuss the formation of a North Eastern Area Association of Flower Clubs in order to gain recognition from The Royal Horticultural Society and to have a link with other like minded Associations throughout the United Kingdom. The Floral Arrangement Association of North East England (FAANEE) was born and covered a huge area – the counties of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland – the land between the Trent and the Tweed.
In 1958 the Area was represented in the decorative tent at the Chelsea Flower Show when mixed spring flowers were used. Eight members worked with the flowers and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, when visiting the tent, congratulated the Area Chairman and said how pleased she was to see the North represented!! With the formation of NAFAS in 1959 Mrs Margaret Herdson, founder Area Chairman, served on the caretaker committee.
The Area was active in bringing prominent flower arranging experts to the North. In 1957 Jocelyn Steward of the East of England headed north, in 1958 Area Competitions were held in Harrogate and Julia Clements was one of the judges, the following year a similar event was held with Constance Spry, Stella Coe and Violet Stephenson joining Julia Clements as judges.
In 1965 the clubs in Northumberland and Durham formed their own group within the North East Area and two years later went to form their own Area.
Many flower festivals have been held at cathedrals and stately homes but pride of place must go to the Chelsea team for being awarded a Gold medal in 1994. The Area has been proud to host several NAFAS National events over the years – National Assemblies, National Competitions and the National AGM, and in 2007 celebrated its own Golden Anniversary.