The Society started life on 20 April 1768 and at this time only six florists' flowers were accepted. However in the nineteenth century other societies were formed and other flowers were introduced into the shows. Dahlias and chrysanthemums were imported and they soon became very popular 'show stoppers'. The Ancient Society included the introductions but did not succumb to becoming a specialist society but instead increased the number of shows to cater for the newcomers. This prevails today and we are therefore entitled to mix with the more traditional plant societies (at the Harrogate Shows), as having exhibited their flowers years before they even existed!
Shows are usually held on a Sunday with staging facilities on the Saturday. The Conference Hall at Askham Bryan College is a magnificent venue and everyone visiting sings its praises and remarks how it shows off the exhibits and creates a marvellous spectacle. Our aim is to make everyone feel welcome whether you are a top grade exhibitor, a regular local shower or someone who would like to participate for the first time."
The Society can boast that it still uses the Royal Coat of Arms from the Queen Anne period on its documents etc. Also it had Royal patronage again when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were patrons of the Society for many years up to their death.