Our Monthly Meetings

All meetings are held at the Parish Hall of St Thomas More. The venue is in Alkrington, a suburb of Middleton, Manchester, and only a half mile from the M60 ring road. (see Find Us for details about the venue and accessablilty).

All are on a Saturday – please arrive from 7.00pm for a 7.45pm start.

Meetings are presented by a different speaker each month, where they share their experiences with members using a digital presentation and/or plants. Occasionally we have meetings where Branch members share experiences on growing plants, soil types, seed propagation etc, all designed to help members get the best from the hobby.

There is an interval for refreshments halfway through the evening, and tea/coffee are available before the meeting also. There is also a raffle every month with prizes donated by the members.

There is a monthly charge of £2 to cover the cost of the speaker, refreshments, and a raffle ticket, but your first visit will be free.

Several extra events are also taking place. Please consider visiting if you are unable to make the evening events.

If you wish for further details please contact the secretary who will be more than willing to offer any help he can.

January 8th Andreas Hoffacker Notocactus (Zoom Meeting) details to follow
February 12th Ian Robinson SouthAfrica1 : cold and dry 1st three days
March 12th Rob Stevenson To infinity and beyond
April 9th David Quail Eyecatchers 3
May 7th details NORTH WEST CACTUS MART
May 14th BRANCH COACH TRIP Southfields Cactus Nursery (Morton, Bourne) Plus Extra Attraction
June 11th Peter Bint Open Day & social gathering at Peter’s (2pm-5pm)
July 9th Terry Goodfellow Taking pictures of your plants (members are asked to bring WHATEVER cameras they use)
August 13th Ray Stephenson Fireplace of endemism – SW Bulgaria
September 10th Ralph Martin A bit of this and that
October 8th details NORTH WEST MESEMB SHOW (speaker TBC)
November 12th Peter Berresford Down by the sea
December 10th AGM & supporting programme TBC
January 14th 2023 TBC TBC

For those members who are based in the more northerly parts of Lancashire and Cumbria there is a North Fylde Branch which meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Thornton.
More details can be found here: North Fylde Branch

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We are a Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society.

Early History

In 2017 Manchester Branch celebrated its 70th Anniversary. Starting out as the Lancashire Branch of the old National Cactus and Succulent Society (NCSS) in December 1946, the first proper meeting was in Feburary 1947. In those days Manchester Council had an absolutely splendid greenhouse situated in Alexandra Park, which is just out of the city centre, which housed the magnificent collection of cacti and succulents donated by the widow of Charles Darrah in 1903. It was at this very venue that a group of enthusiasts decided to emulate the step taken by Bradford Branch, to form a branch where people of like minded interest could discuss, exchange information and plants and generally enjoy one anothers company.

Both Branch and Society flourished and at its height in the 70s, 80s and 90s the Branch had over 100 members and the Society reached 5000 members mainly national but with a fair representation from overseas.

Although the Branch is smaller these days the membership is still very keen for the most part. We try to provide an interesting programme each year to help all members enjoy the hobby.

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The Manchester Branch today

There is a meeting every month on the second Saturday at 7.45pm which lasts till about 10pm. We make a charge of £2 on entry which entitles you to a raffle ticket and refreshments in addition to the talk/exhibition.

Our speakers usually show slides, though some bring actual plants to talk about and hand round for people to peruse. There are often plants on sale at very reasonable prices and an Interest Table is set up every month for people to display their plants for others to enjoy, or have them identified, or to provide a theme maybe connected with the speakers talk.

In addition to these talks each month we also provide other points of interest. Local Branches offer Open Days for members to visit and there will always be someone willing to offer transport to these events. We have such a day in Manchester every two years and this is the year.

Every Spring there is a Cactus Mart where cactus and succulent nurseries bring plants for sale.

We have two mini shows a year, in May and August, which the members actually judge showing their personal preferences amongst the plants on display. In October we host the North West Mesemb Show. This has been held in Middleton since 2007, after moving from the Northwich venue.

Nobody in the Branch claims to be a specialist but we all have experience which we gladly pass on to those who need it.

We are a friendly bunch and invite you to come along and savour the atmosphere. You do not have to join the Society in order to see what its like. Come along and see and if you feel this is for me then you will be welcome to join. For further details see the Contact Us section.

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The British Cactus and Succulent Society

At the beginning of 1983 the two existing cactus societies merged to form one Society to deal with the needs of cactophiles all over the country.

The National Cactus and Succulent Society (NCSS) merged with the Cactus and Succulent Society of Great Britain (CSSGB) to form the British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS) and that is the situation to this day.

Membership of the Society costs £15 per annum (less for Associates, Senior Citizens and Juniors) which entitles you to be a member of a nearby branch, provides you with 4 journals about a variety of cactus and succulent matters annually but most of all enables you to meet many like minded individuals.