Back in 1962 a group of gardeners and allotment holders in Swindon got together to form a club, with the intention of selling a few seeds and bulbs amongst themselves. The club quickly grew to 60 members and it used to take five days to put together seed orders. The club was originally known as the Swindon Allotment and Leisure Gardens Association but had to add the name Thamesdown upon local government reorganisation on 1974. It reverted back to Swindon in 1998 after the local Council achieved unitary status. Membership peaked at around 800 in the late 1990’s but these days the number is closer to 350. The Association is always on the lookout for new members and is run by a committee which meets once a month. Regular open members’ meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at Gorse Hill Community Centre.
SALGA holds monthly meeting at Gorse Hill Community Centre with talks on a variety of subjects, generally with a plant and garden theme. The hall is open from 7.00pm and is open to all.
SALGA has its own members only shop, located at the Pickards Field site in the Pinehurst area of Swindon. It is run by the volunteers and is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays between the hours of 10am and 12 noon from the end of February until the last Monday in October. During the winter months the shop is open on Saturdays only between 9.00am and 12 noon.
SALGA holds an annual horticultural show and a schools garden competition.
SALGA also runs regular outings and holidays for members.
SALGA is a registered charity. This means that, among other things, it can claim back Gift Aid contributions from the Tax Office on behalf of its members, in order to raise additional funds to re-invest in to the Association’s functions for the benefit of its members. So far this year, over 200 members, in renewing their subscriptions or signing up as new members, have signed a Gift Aid declaration that will enable Treasurer, John Edgerton, to claim back £1.25 per declaration from the Tax Office.