When Sam Mainwood won the Robson Trophy for the best flower garden in Hathersage three years on the trot he got to keep the magnificent art deco solid Sheffield silver cup in perpetuity and Hathersage Horticultural Society might have thought they would never get to see it again.
But 72 years after it was last awarded it had found its way back to the village.
Sam, who lived at The Dale, Hathersage and worked for the railway at Bamford was a stalwart of the Methodist church and a prodigious gardener, frequently judging at horticultural shows up and down the Hope Valley.
The Robson Trophy was presented by a local building firm and Sam won it from 1942-44 keeping it ever after until his death in 1973 when his son Michaeil continued to have it proudly on display.
Michael passed it to his daughter Pat Gale and her husband Geoff who live in Taunton.
Before Michael died earlier this year he asked Pat to take the trophy back to Hathersage: “Grandad was a great gardener and was well know as a competitor and judge at horticultural shows up and down the Hope Valley.
“Dad was very proud of the trophy but he wanted me to bring it back to Hathersage after he died and we all felt that was where it belonged.”
Pat and Geoff made that pilgrimage recently where she was warmly welcomed by Hathersage Horticultural Society chairman Les Millard and other representatives.
Les said: ”It’s a really lovely cup and although we no longer have a class for the best flower garden we are thinking of getting it renamed the Mainwood Trophy and presenting it next year for a different category. It is very kind of the Gales to come all this way to return it to us.”
This year’s Hathersage Horticultural Society show will be held at the Memorial Hall on September 3. 2-5 m.