After two long years, on the 4th of September, the Society were at last able to stage a Flower Show.
The possibility of being able to do this was first discussed at a committee meeting in the middle of July and it was agreed that we would initially contact all the judges to ensure that they were still willing to attend. Once they had confirmed that they were, there was still concern that more restrictions would be imposed and, also, would anyone want to enter? But once it was clear that it would be able to go ahead it did not take long to get the arrangements underway.
On Thursday 2nd September the entries were telephoned in and by 9pm 26 members had entered 191 exhibits; less than in past years but more than enough to ensure a good display. As the Autumn Show is usually the largest of the year the hall is always prepared on the Friday afternoon and, with the help of a few strong men, this didn't take too long at all. It was decided that the marquee would not be put up as it was hoped that the weather would be fine enough to be able to serve teas and make the presentations outside in the fresh air.
By 10.45am on Saturday morning everything was in place for the judges to begin their task of deciding the prize winners. All classes were well represented and there was plenty of competition in both the Domestic and Flower arranging classes. The Diploma of Merit in Domestic Science was awarded to Loretta Syrad for a jar of delicious Raspberry and Redcurrant Jelly and the Best Floral Arrangement Diploma was won by Jennifer Mitchell for an exhibit entitled "Farmer's Market". Marjorie Hall also won two first prizes in the Flower Arranging with her petite arrangement "Hot and Spicy" and "Rule of Six". The latter was arranged using a pin holder rather than floral foam which the judge commented on, as unfortunately Oasis foam is not environmentally friendly, and we may all have to start to find other ways to support flowers in the future.
In the photography classes there were only three entrants, and Angus McKay almost swept the board but was beaten by Mike Pennick in class 64 "Fruits of the Earth". There were some very clever interpretations of the class titles and the judge commented on each one, providing visitors with further insights into how he made his decisions.
The Thackeray Cup, for the best exhibit in the Flowers and Pot Plants section was awarded to Jill Howard-Duff for her magnificent lilac-coloured gladiolus; it was a perfect specimen and was much admired by all. Rosemary Dagger won the Dahlia Society Silver Medal Card and Jennifer Mitchell was awarded the Fuchsia Society Best exhibit rosette. The best exhibit award in the Vegetables and Fruit classes was awarded to Christine Leonard for her superb tomatoes and Edward Day won the HHS Challenge Cup for the most points in this section.
There were fewer visitors than usual but perhaps this was to have been expected. However, it is hoped that all three shows can be staged in 2022 and, hopefully, we will all feel more comfortable in attending these events by then.
On Thursday 21st October Nigel Choat will be giving a talk about "The Pyrenees" at 8pm in Headley Village Hall. The event is open to both members and visitors.