Back in 1974 the Eynsham Society coerced five people to open their gardens to raise money to buy serum and equipment to treat the beautiful elms in the village from Dutch Elm disease.
The next Open Gardens, in aid of St Leonard's Church restoration appeal, was held on Saturday June 26 1982, when 12 gardens opened just from 12:00 to 17:00. The programme and hand-drawn map for that year, preserved by Sue Chapman, is headed “Eynsham in Bloom 1982 ... Organised by the Eynsham in Bloom Committee with the assistance of the Parochial Church Council” so Eynsham has a fair claim to be older than Oxford in Bloom, which is a mere 25 years old.
Sue recalls, “In 1984 we opened again and had 127 people on Saturday and 197 on Sunday - a total of 324 passing through our sitting room. Later on that year 3 or 4 of us opened again one evening so that Abingdon Garden Club members could look around.”