peak the Spalding bulb industry moved 3,000 tons of flowers in 375,000
boxes with 12 to 18 bunches in each box from Spalding Station each year.
That was back in 1939 when 10,000 acres were turned over to growing bulbs locally.
It was a long way from the first plot of tulips grown commercially in the country in Spalding by Mr Sam Culpin on land which is now houses in the appropriately named Culpins Close.
Spalding had been known as a market garden area back in the 1880s, but J T White, Dick Wellband and Oscar DAlcorn were to pioneer the bulb industry locally growing tulips, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops and iris.
The coming of the railway was the turning point for the industry, opening up links to major towns and cities where many farm workers had moved to during the Victorian industrial revolution.
Living in dark, polluted cities in back to back homes with no gardens they remembered flowers and wanted to have them in their homes. A small price to pay for a bunch of happiness.
Towns had big municipal parks and the main feature in these parks were huge flower beds of which the focal point was daffodils and tulips all supplied by the local industry.
By 1931, 1,500 men and women were employed on 3,000 acres of bulbs. The work was hard as tulip bulbs are very fragile and had to be planted by hand, lifted by hand, graded by hand and the pay per bucket was only between 3d and 6d.
The flowers were cut when in full bloom not like today when we expect to see them in bud. With no central heating in homes the flowers would last longer and people wanted to see what they were getting.
Presentation was everything, with the flowers bunched by women, forced to work in silence in packing sheds where the blooms were placed on a hand turned conveyer belt. The two raffia ties per bunch had to be placed at exactly the same intervals down every stem.
The bunches were then packed into paper lined boxes. The production of boxes by Spalding biggest manufacturer, Grooms, provided more jobs for the area. The boxes were then put on a hand cart and pulled by men or on horse and carts to the nearest station.
There was a big business in forced flowers too providing work for glass house manufacturers, the biggest being Simpsons of Spalding. By 1920 Spalding had 21 acres of glass growing forced flowers.