Colourful display greets visitors to flower show

Horsham and District Horticultural Society summer show 2013
Horsham and District Horticultural Society summer show 2013

A wonderful display of flowers, fruit, vegetables and cakes, all of good quality and well up to the standards set at recent years’ shows, was the verdict of Show Secretary Geoffrey Kirk commenting upon Horsham and District Horticultural Society’s Summer Show held at North Heath Hall last Saturday, 17 August. He thanked all the exhibitors for their entries and members and visitors for coming to view the show.

Altogether 240 entries were received for the 68 classes which, as well as encompassing the traditional, also included classes for handicrafts such as sewing, knitting, paintings etc. and photographs. In the past two years the Society has also been trying to promote the inclusion of entries from juniors under 16 years of age. This was not as well supported as at the Society’s Spring Show, no doubt due to the fact that many families with schoolchildren were away on holiday. Chairman Lynda Ashby has some ideas for promoting this aspect of the Society’s aims but would also welcome suggestions from members.

Society President, Alan Harris, himself a local grower, commented that the growing conditions this season had generally been pretty good, after an obviously late start. Soft fruit had been very good, due in a way to the late spring which meant that the crop did not suffer from frost damage when the blossom eventually came out. Before presenting the awards he congratulated the exhibitors on the quality of their exhibits and on the healthy state of the Society generally.

The Chairman expressed her thanks to the Committee and all concerned with the running of the show, from those who helped set it up in the morning to those providing the teas. She also wished to draw attention to the successes achieved by three Society members in Horsham-in-Bloom’s Allotments Competition. David Frost had gained the top Gold Award for the best-kept allotment in Horsham. Sally Birchmore had been adjudged the best new entrant to the competition and Gerry Ashby had received a commendation for his allotment.

Show judges Mr and Mrs Simpson, from Petworth, commented very favourably on the quality of the exhibits generally. Mr Simpson singled out three items for special mention which won the respective exhibitors the cups for ‘Best Exhibit’ in the sections concerned: a vase of three decorative dahlias shown by Paul Dalby (Nora Poole Cup) for the best exhibit in the flower classes, Gerry Ashby’s collection of vegetables (The Garden News Shield, won by him in six of the past seven years) and Vic Mansell’s wonderful selection of cacti grown in a bowl 12” in diameter (The Shelley Cup). Mrs Simpson told the Show Secretary that the cookery was “ very good overall” and said Sue Hammond’s lemon curd was “the tops”. She won the Layton Cup for winning the most points in the cookery classes and she also won the Handicrafts Trophy for a truly outstanding framed sampler.

Other awards were as follows:

Rose Bowl, for the best rose exhibit: Richard Munford.

Ron Mitchell Cup, for the best horticultural exhibit overall: Paul Dalby, for the dahlias referred to above. He also won the Festival Cup, having gained the most points in the flower classes, the President’s Cup and the Padwick Floral Bowl for being awarded the most points in the show.

Founders’ Salver, for the most points in the vegetable classes: Gerry Ashby.

Arun Cup, for the most points in the fruit classes: Lynda Cheeseman.

Ladies Cup, for the lady winning the most points in the fruit and vegetable classes: Sue Hammond.

Reg Smith Cup, for the most points gained in the photographic classes: Ray Hartley.

Banksian Medal, awarded by the R.H.S. to the exhibitor gaining the most points in the horticultural classes (but not available to either of the previous two years’ winners, who both gained more points): R. Munford.

Betty Santer Shield, winner of the Chairman’s summer competition for pot-grown sunflowers : Rita Ginn.

The Society holds fortnightly winter meetings at Brighton Road Baptist Church, RH13 5BD, on alternate Tuesday evenings, commencing on 1 October at 7.30pm and will restart after Christmas on 7 January. Programme details will be available on the Society’s website

Members of the public will be very welcome at any of the meetings, with a view to becoming members for a very modest subscription.

Next year’s Spring Flower Show will be held on Saturday, 12 April 2014, at North Heath Hall, St. Mark’s Lane, Horsham RH12 5PU. See website for show schedule. The Society’s shows are only open to exhibitors who are fully paid-up members.

Contributed by Horsham and District Horticultural Society