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Autumn Show 2023

A Fantastic Show, particularly in view of the weather conditions".  So said our Flower, Fruit and Vegetable judge, William Hurton.  Twenty-six members raided their parched gardens or sweated it out in their kitchens to produce 198 exhibits!

The flowers had, perhpas, suffered more than the fruit and vegetables and the rose exhibits were few in number but all the dahlia classes had some lovely specimen blooms of many different varieties and there were some well-filled bowls of homegrown dahlias.  The David Barmes Silver Salver for the best rose exhibit was won by Lindy Bates together with the Brissenden Cup for most points in dahlia classes, the Colquhoun Cup for Flowers and Boughton Cup for the bowl of dahlias.  The Rennie Cup for the best dahlia exhibit was deservedly won by Ann Achow.

We had three serious vegetable and fruit growers competing with each other- Dorothy Crawfurd, Cathy Dalton and Martin Weeks who provided a wonderful display in their championship collections as well as amongst the individual classes.  Dorothy was awarded the Judge Cup for her collection of fruit and vegetables; Cathy Dalton won the Dalton Bowl for Fruit and the Margery Mills Memorial Cup for the heaviest yield from a single potato tuber; Martin Weeks won the Goodwin Cup for most points in the vegetable classes.  He was also the first winner of the Val Drywood Memorial Trophy for the best vegetable exhibit-his fifteen beautifully matched small tomatoes.  It was made more special by having Val's two great nephews to present the trophy.  However, for the first time in about ten years, Martin allowed another exhibitor, Lindy Bates, to take home the Potato Challenge Cup!  The RHS Banksian Medal is awarded each Autumn for the most points in the horticultural classes but the winners of the two previous years are not eligible so, despite having fewer points, Lindy Bates took home this year's medal together with the Hugh Willsher Salver for most points over the year.  Not rewarded with a trophy but nevertheless very eye-catching were to enormous pumpkins grown by Suzanne Hore and Martin Weeks.  Perhaps the Society should adopt an idea from New England where there is a competition for the largest pumpkin-the entries often have to be moved by fork-lift truck!

Moving on to the Cookery Benches, there were many mouth-watering exhibits as well as a fine collection of preserves.  The honours were shared by Marea Saunders and Alexandra Sperling who were given the Parry Cookery Cup.  Alexandra also won the Fisher Cup awarded for the best exhibit-her chocolate beetroot cake.

The Floral Art exhibits featured Promise for the Future, Cocktail, Woodland Treasures and Bonfire Night. Much imagination was used to produce some striking exhibits about which the judge, Jo Everett, wrote very encouraging comments.  Jan Page won the Foreman Salver for her Woodland Treasures and Brun Christoff took home the Williams Cup for her interpretation of Cocktail.  Lindy Bates won the Catty Trophy for most points throughout the year.

The Photography classes suitably featured Harvest  and Orchard. There weren't many entries at this show but Maurice Dalton deservedly won the Autumn Cup for his Harvest photograph.

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