St Mary's Centre
By Gay Jordan - 6th September 2018 11:00am
The number of exhibitors in the open classes at this year's Haddenham Horticultural Society Annual Show held on Saturday 1st September was a little down on last year (63 versus 72). However, particularly in the vegetable, fruit and flower classes, this was hardly surprising, given the hot, dry weather across the spring and summer.
Although some crops really loved the conditions and flourished, others were less tolerant or matured earlier than they would normally have done.
Nevertheless, there was generally a good display overall in these classes, apart from the chrysanthemums where sadly there were no entries, although there were some lovely dahlias on display.
The non-horticultural classes mostly held up quite well, with coincidentally exactly the same number of entries in the Art classes as in 2017. However, there was quite a reduction in the number of entrants in the preserves classes, but again this may well have been as a result of the weather meaning that exhibitors had less material from which to make jams and pickles, etc.
In addition, we were particularly disappointed that there were no entries in the classes for children between the ages of 11 and 15, but this is often very variable as some regular exhibitors grow too old to participate and there is sometimes a lag in the younger ones reaching the next age group. However, we are optimistic for the future as there were nearly double the number of entries in the 7-10 year old group this year.
We also find that the proximity to the August Bank Holiday and relationship to the start of the school term seems to have an effect, particularly on the children's entries, as some people are on holiday, etc; since the Show is always the first Saturday in September this gap can vary, with next year's Show being on 7th September.
Talking to some of the visitors I learned that the entries across the board at some recent shows had been up to 25% down, so ours held up considerably better than that. One explanation offered for the reduction was that, as well as the obvious tricky growing conditions, the extreme heat had dampened people's enthusiasm for spending time making things!
From the door receipts the number of visitors seems to have been about the same as normal and once again we were delighted to receive many favourable comments, with people seeming to enjoy themselves as always with the wide range of classes providing something of interest for everyone.
The full list of prizewinners is provided on the PDFs featured on this page.
Sincere thanks are extended to Dr Hugh Stradling for kindly capturing photographs of this year's Show, while the website editor was unavoidably distracted — attending his son's wedding! See the portfolio in our Galleries section.