Summer show bursts with colour

Horsham and district Horticultural Society summer show SUS-150828-122618001
Horsham and district Horticultural Society summer show SUS-150828-122618001

A wonderful display of flowers, fruit, vegetables, cookery and handicrafts, 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 on Saturday, 15 August.

Just under 200 entries had been received. It had been unfortunate that we had had some very heavy rain on the two days preceding the day of the show, which might have spoiled some of the flowers members had been hoping to exhibit.

Nevertheless, he thanked all the exhibitors for their entries and members and visitors for coming to view the show. He also wished to express his sincere thanks to the two judges and to all members of the Committee for their support in helping to ensure everything ran smoothly on the day, in particular Ray Hartley for devising and running the computer programme for tabulating the results, Sue Hammond for the raffle and Lynda Ashby and others for the refreshments.

The awards were presented by Vice President and former Chairman, Derek Santer, who felt that on the whole we had had a good growing season, aided by the absence of late spring frosts.

He himself had had an excellent soft fruit crop. He congratulated the exhibitors on the quality of their exhibits and commented on the lovely display of colour that greeted people when they came into the hall. Stressing the informality of the shows, he said he would encourage anyone who has not shown before to ‘have a go’.

The Society needs more members to try their hand at exhibiting to maintain the lifeblood of the Society, he said. He thanked everyone who had contributed towards the success of the show, but on this occasion it was right that he should in particular draw attention to Geoffrey Kirk’s many years of service to the Society, since he had now decided to retire from the position of Show Secretary.

Geoffrey, who is pictured above, became Treasurer of the Society in 1998, but in the summer of 2004 he took on the additional role of Show Secretary following the sudden resignation of the previous incumbent and immediately restored the holding of shows to a Saturday afternoon, after some years of much smaller weekday evening shows.

He retained both roles until January 2007. He has, therefore, held overall responsibility for organising our shows for the past eleven years, although the workload had been lightened considerably by the computerization of the show schedule and the recording of the detailed results on computer by Ray Hartley from 2009.

Derek Santer presented Geoffrey with a bottle of fine wine as a token of the Society’s gratitude for his many years of service to the Society since 1998.

The following awards were presented by Derek to the prize winners at the end of the show:

n Rose Bowl, for the best rose exhibit: Lynda Cheeseman.

n Nora Poole Cup, for the best vase of other cut flowers and the Floral Cup for floral art: Margaret Rogers

n Shelley Cup, for the best pot plant: Hazel Bockh, who also won the Reg Smith Cup for photographs.

n Garden News Shield, for the best vegetable exhibit: David Frost, for tomatoes grown on a grafted plant.

n Founders’ Salver, for the most points in the vegetable classes: Neville Rogers. He also won the coveted RHS Banksian Medal for the member winning the highest number of points in the Show, discounting winners in the previous two years who are debarred from gaining this award by RHS rules.

n Arun Cup, for the most points in the fruit classes: Vic Mansell

n Ladies’ Cup, for the lady winning the most points in the fruit and vegetables classes: Lynda Cheeseman

n Handicrafts Trophy, for a painting of a Lake District scene: Jack Hills

n Paul Dalby won the Festival Cup, having gained the most points in the flower classes, and the Betty Santer Shield for the separate Chairman’s Summer Competition for pot-grown annual dahlias grown from seed.

The Society holds fortnightly winter meetings on topics of horticultural interest at Brighton Road Baptist Church, RH13 5BD on alternate Tuesday evenings at 7.30 pm.

These run from 6 October to 15 December 2015 and recommence after Christmas on 5 January until 15 March 2016. The programme is available on the Society’s website

Members of the public will be very welcome as visitors at any of the meetings, hopefully with a view to joining the Society for a modest annual subscription.

Next year’s Spring Flower Show will be held on Saturday 2 April 2016 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, but the public are always welcome to come and view the shows.

Report and pictures contributed by by Ray Hartley.