A wet winter, late spring, the “Beast from the East” and finally a two-month heatwave and drought – gardeners have struggled this year.
No wonder organisers Nim and Sally Whitmarsh were breathing sighs of relief as they looked around All Saints’ Church Hall and surveyed Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society’s annual show. It was the show that nearly wasn’t.
Nim said: “At the end of last week there were not enough entries to put on a show. Then they all came in with a rush. Considering the conditions, I think the standard of entries is really good.
“We would like to thank local businesses which supported us with raffle prizes.”
Colourful scarecrows gathered outside the doors helped draw visitors into the show. These hand-crafted figures had been made by the pupils of Cygnets Nursery Group, Chantry Community Primary School, St Peter and St Paul Church of England Primary School and King Offa Community Primary School. Visitors were invited to choose their favourite scarecrow.
New entrant Helen Cunliffe’s array of roses and carnations won her a floral arrangement “first” at her first attempt.
Jacquie Thomson’s first place in the domestic classes with a bara brith tea bread came by accident. “I baked it for the refreshments. Then one of the ladies said ‘Enter it for the show.’ It is only the second one I have ever made!”
Judges were: Flowers, vegetables and fruit, Melvin Hilder; handicraft, Thelma Nance; photography, John Larkin; cookery, Mrs S. Davis and Mrs S. Jones; floral arrangement, Mrs J. Davis.
Trophy winners were: Banksian Medal, Jenny Hayes; Past Presidents’ Cups: Best exhibit in domestic classes, Claire Brockhurst; best exhibit in vegetable classes, Miss Tolkien; best exhibit in floral classes, Brian Croft; best exhibit in handicraft classes, Arthur Pleasants. Dick Lancaster Cup, best exhibit in show, Claire Brockhurst; Peskett Cup, most prizes in show, John Hillier; J.W. Davis Cup, John Hillier; K. Young Cup, John Hillier; S. Marshall Cup, Jenny Hayes; H. Groves Cup, John Heasman; D. Strevens Cup, Brian Croft; R. Gunner Cup, Brian Croft; J. Alexander Cup, John Hillier; W.G. Sansom Cup, Brian Croft; Woodworkers Cup, Mrs S. Tolkien; F. Sharp Cup, Mrs J. Brockhurst; Aquarius Photographic Cup, Miss S. Campbell; Tunbridge Cup, Stuart and Hazel Wood; Stanbridge Cup, Jenny Hayes; Domestic Glass Bowl, J. Brockhurst; M. Fuller Cup, Claire Brockhurst; J. Bentley Cup, Brian Croft; C. Kenwood Cup, Brian Croft; D. Groves Flower Bowl, Helen Cunliffe; Society’s Cup, Stuart Wood; Pat Bailey Cup, Stuart Wood; G. Crisp Cup, Master F. Gilchrist; D. Lancaster Cup, Miss Ballard.