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Welcome to the CANWOS website !


We are a group of enthusiasts who meet to share our enjoyment of orchids.
Membership is open to anyone who is interested.
Beginners are very welcome!
Web site last update - 10th October 2020

PRIVACY: This is a passive web site whose purpose is to share information with Society members and the public at large. We do not use cookies; we collect no data.

COVID-19 Update - 10th October 2020

Although all meetings of the Society have been cancelled since the March lockdown, we are starting Zoom meetings from October.

In the meantime, we are continuing to run a society wide, moderated blog for members and supporters, accessed via the menu page button ☰ in the top left corner of the screen.

Please use the Contact us facility to enter photographs, comments and perhaps very short articles to the blog.

Contact us

Click here.

Update email dated
10th October 2020

Hello everyone


We have now had our Steering Group Zoom meeting and it went very well.  We agreed to start CANWOS monthly meetings in the same way.  The first will be next Friday, 16th October, with the meeting proper starting at 7.30pm.  We will have:

   a short AGM, essentially to approve the accounts,

   followed by a discussion on how to do the rest of the season (we have some ideas to suggest and will welcome ideas from you)

   followed by a display of flowering orchids (please bring a selection of yours into camera range)

   followed, if there is time(!), by a short talk by myself on using the internet to help your orchid growing.

Inevitably, as we have not seen each other since February, there will also be a lot of personal news in between.  We intend to arrange Zoom speakers for some of the following meetings. 

It would be helpful to know who is or is not intending to attend Zoom meetings.  Please let me know.

Attending a Zoom meeting is not difficult.  It may all seem a bit daunting at first but it actually works well.

To do so, you will need to have Zoom software on your computer, portable, tablet or smartphone.  If you have not used Zoom before, there are some notes on how to do this installation at the end of this email. 

It is possible to attend a Zoom meeting without using a camera or microphone but your level of interaction will be very limited – you can only see and listen; your input will be limited to a chat facility, where you can type in a comment for all to see.  This is less than ideal.  You can add a webcam to most systems for less than £25 (about £10 for an unbranded model) - though you can pay a great deal more!  Contact me if you need help.  

Although the meeting proper will start at 7.30pm, the virtual Waiting Room will be open from 7pm and the Meeting Room from 7.15pm.

I am happy to help new users of Zoom by having test meetings with them in the days before the Society meeting.  Please let me know;  we will usually start such a meeting by a pre-arranged phone call.

In the meantime, all I can do is encourage you to look after yourselves carefully, to look after your orchids attentively and just keep taking the photographs!  I have put up a September/October edition of the Blog (see this via www.canwos.org.uk and the menu page button ☰ in the top left corner of the screen) and I welcome your photographs, comments  and any stories however loosely connected to orchids that you wish to share. 

Very best wishes and Keep Safe


Iain Wright
Public Contact CANWOS

Programme 2020/2021

Friday 16st October A brief AGM
+ a virtual Plant Table
Internet Facilities for Orchid Growers

Iain Wright

Friday 20th November
To be announced

2021 To be announced


We meet at St Mary's Church Hall, Handbridge, Chester CH4 7HL, usually on the third Friday of the month but not in December, July or August. The Hall is open from 7.00pm.

Members are encouraged to bring their plants in flower to each meeting. There is a wealth of information within the Society and it is our tradition that this is shared freely amongst members.

We send an email to all our members about ten days before our regular meetings, to remind them what is on and to pass on other information. We are happy to send these to non-members and potential visitors - please use the index tab () to reach the 'Contact Us' section.

At most meetings there is a raffle. Members often donate orchid plants. Refreshments such as tea and coffee are available during the evening, usually immediately after the speaker.

We have a library that contains many books suitable for both beginners and experts. Members can borrow books for one month and can browse the reference books, which cannot be loaned out.

Plants & Auction

At meetings where plants are not for sale by the evening's speaker, members may offer their own orchid plants for sale.  A 20% seller's premium is levied and donated to the Society.

Each year we hold an auction where members buy and sell plants. Typically, about eighty plants are sold each year, usually at very advantageous prices. A seller's and buyer's premium operates (10% for each) and the proceeds are donated to the Society. This is an excellent way to extend a collection and try new types of orchid.


The annual subscription is currently £12. We no longer offer double or family membership. Subscriptions are normally paid to the Membership Secretary at or just after the October meeting.

Charitable Status

CANWOS registered with the the Charity Commission in 1993 but surrendered its registration in 2011.  It is now a "Charity exempt from the need to register".  Tax paying members can still benefit the Society by making a Gift Aid declaration. Details can be obtained from the Treasurer at any of the meetings.

Membership & Affiliation

The Society is a member of the British Orchid Council (BOC) and sends two representatives to its meetings. CANWOS is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and members can use some of the benefits available.


A copy of our present Constitution is available for downloading by clicking on "CANWOS Constitution.pdf ". This was revised at our 2012 AGM.

British Orchid Council Our national organisation for orchid growing. There are lots of links here to other orchid societies around the country.
Orchid Photographs If you like orchid pictures, this site is a good place to start. If you like orchid species pictures, then ...
Jay Pfahl's Orchid Photographs ... this is the place for you. Work down through the preamble and finally reach over 17,158 orchids.
The International Orchid Register Search the database of registered hybrids.
Use full or partial names to identify parents and children of a grex.
Orchid History Ron Rigby's site with lots of information on the history of orchid growing

Where We Meet

We use the hall just behind St Mary's Church on Overleigh Road, just South of the River Dee.

The post code for the Church is CH4 7HL.

View Google Map

local map

The church is an imposing building and easily spotted, whether you approach from the city center by way of the old bridge ...
from the east

... or from the west by way of the new bridge or the Wrexham road / A55 junction.
from the west

The hall is directly behind the church and hardly visible from the road.
Go down the driveway between a telephone kiosk and the church itself and turn right.
The drive way