Wakefield's tulip society has been one and only for 80 years

The Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society will hold its annual show in Horbury on May 11. Ahead of the dazzling event, we look back at key points in the society's development.

The Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society holds an annual show.
The earliest discovered record of a tulip show in Wakefield dates back to 1829, though a florists society held its first meeting nearly two decades earlier in 1807.

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The society was established in 1836. At the time, the flowers were being grown and shown by artisan labourers.
Since 1936, the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society has been the only one in the country dedicated specifically to the flower.
The popularity of tulips in the UK grew from the 17th century, when there was a shift in the cultivation of plants from medicinal usage to recreational. Enthusiasts - named florists - formed groups dedicated to particular flowers.
Interest in tulips peaked in the mid 19th century, when there were around 200 annual shows up and down the British Isles. But only four societies are believed to have survived into the 1900s.
The pastime was one originally reserved for the rich. But in the early 1800s, the tulip made its way increasingly into the hands of ordinary people.
The beauty of the flowers has long attracted painters and in a letter in 1963, botanical artist Rory McEwen told how one of his works, featuring a tulip sent by the society, was gifted to the White House in Washington.
Today, tulips are displayed in brown beer bottles, a tradition that goes back to the days when shows were held in local pubs.