The Small Dole Horticultural Society held its 71st Summer Show on Mackley’s Sports Field on Saturday, August 15.
Up until the morning of the show, the prospects for a good day seemed rather poor with heavy rain a feature of the previous few days.
On the Friday evening the small band of volunteers got thoroughly soaked whilst erecting the marquees and marking out the field with stakes.
At 6.30am on the Saturday, there was some cloud around but at least the rain had stopped! By the time the show opened at 1.30pm it was positively warm and humid, staying that way all day, even keeping dry enough to dismantle all our equipment and stow it away.
It had been a long day but a very successful one with more than 500 entries and a noticeable increase on visitor numbers over previous years.
We received countless compliments on what a lovely, friendly show it had been.
This year was the first year that the RSPCA had run the fun dog show and great credit must be given to Ann and her team from the Patcham RSPCA centre for the very efficient and friendly way it was run.
The support given by the countless dog owners was outstanding. We are so pleased that Ann has agreed to run the dog show for us next year.
The main show marquee was full of exhibits and visitors but also hundreds of wasps (no exaggeration!)
In the morning before all the cookery exhibits arrived there was no sign of a wasp but by lunchtime the place was literally buzzing! One of the big attraction to the wasps were the cakes.
One of the classes was for ‘Afternoon tea for two displayed on a cake stand’ and Tracey Mulvaney - the winner of this class - had produced an array of tempting teatime treats with lemon drizzle cakes on the top tier.
This was a magnet for the wasps who quickly demolished the icing. Luckily, despite the huge number of wasps, nobody got stung!
Wasps were not attracted to the flowers and handicrafts, like the superb painting of a Lion cub, painted by Hayley Beale which, understandably, won her first prize in her category.
Even after several days of heavy wind and rain, the flowers still looked good and brightened the tent.
There were plenty of entries from children, including some creative scarecrows and some very colourful knitwear in the adult classes.
Outside the show marquee the crowd was entertained by the Patcham Silver Band and appetites satisfied by tea,delicious cakes and other goodies.
The Tottington Woodlanders demonstrated their skills, including hedge laying, hurdle making and use of the pole lathe.
Children had great fun on the bouncy castle, slides or having their faces painted.
There were plenty of stalls to occupy the crowd. Attending the show were charities like Save the Children Fund, St Barnabas Hospice, Leonard Cheshire Homes, Henfield Lions, Royal British Legion, Henfield HART, the Point Foundation plus many others from local clubs and individuals.
The main objective of the Small Dole Horticultural Society is to keep this traditional show going. It is a very expensive exercise costing us just under £2,000 to run, with £1,000 of that being the marquee.
The only income from the show is the 50p per adult entrance fee to the marquee, profits from the tea tent and the raffle.
Normally we sustain an operating loss of several hundred pounds. We are only able to meet the cost of the show by fundraising during the year and by donations from individuals for which we are very grateful.
We only charge a small amount for private stallholders to attend but charities are free. As a result, hundreds of pounds are raised by the various charities involved.
Finally we must thank Mackley Industrial Estates for their generosity in providing us with their field and other help throughout the year.
Overall, another very successful show and the hope for even better one in 2016.
CUP WINNERS 2015
J Ellert Cup - Margaret Stoner
Woods Mill Challenge Cup - Mr Hills
Tottington Challenge Trophy - Mr Hills
Albert Fish Cup - Steve Long
Ann Phillips Cup - Mr Hills
Murial Gretton Cup - Tracey Mulvaney
Olive Wellstead Cup - Tracey Mulvaney
Noakes Cup- Tracey Mulvaney
Oreham Playgroup Cup - George Toovey and Charlie Witherden (jointly)
Hill View Cup- Harrison Toovey
Marjorie Carreck Cup -William Rudling
S A Fish Cup- Milly Rudling
Drummond Cup - Val Cartwright
Stewart Christie Cup - David Barrett
Adurvale Perpetual Trophy - Barbara Wellstead
Glukstein Cup - Sue Bray
Small Dole W I Cup - Tracey Mulvaney
Mary Holder Cup - William Rudling
Saddlington Goblet - Daphne Turner
David Bubloz Cup - Trevor Simmons
Joan Carr Cup - Mary Holder
Banksian Medal - Trevor Simmons
Oreham Cup - Mr Hills
John Scutt Trophy - Margaret Stoner
Bert Harman Cup - Margaret Soner
Nellie Tyrrell Shield - Janet Daly
Bert & Vera Fish Cup - Margaret Stoner
Bert Ellert Challenge Cup - Mr Hills
Marjorie Clothier Shield - Harrison Toovey
Report and pictures contributed by David Barrett, Hon. Treasurer