With the demise of the Bristol Flower Show 2007 on alleged “health and
safety grounds” this major local show took increased significance.
Probably one of the largest “local shows” it has historically been one
of the few for begonia growers to exhibit blooms. So much so that Lakin
Earl donated the L N Earl Trophy a few years ago to the best six board.
Held over the August Bank Holiday and sited on the sea front it
does attract good attendances, especially this year, being blessed with
good weather. While overall entries were up, regrettably begonias
entries were poor to be polite. Only one 6 board, two 3 boards and one
entry each in the 1 and 3 pot sections. However, the foliage sections
were well supported. NBS members, Bert Filer, Des Hopes and of course
Lakin Earl were to the fore.
Tony Willoughby, another NBS member picked up from the schedule
that there was a class for Societies and Clubs to put on a display 6’ x
4’ and decided to enter on behalf of the NBS. He constructed a tiered
display stand, that was substantial, but he assured everyone that it was
held together with just 8 screws.
A problem Tony had was that the majority of his plants were past
their best and he looked to me for help. One problem was how to
transport them. Tony came up with a carrying rack for myvehicle. This
gave me an opportunity to decant my grossly overstocked greenhouse.
There were many trials and tribulations along the way, too numerous
to detail, but we got there. The display finally held 21 different show
varieties and 7 ancillary display plants. At one stage it was likely to
be NAS’d as it was oversize. However, we squashed it in and so did not
This was Tony’s first attempt at anything like this and lessons
were learnt for the future. How did it get on? It came a very creditable
second. Beaten by vegetables! Must say that the winning exhibit was a
class act and was worthy of all the plaudits and best in overall show.
Although the exhibit was not manned it gave an opportunity to
advertise the NBS and membership applications forms were on display. At
least 10 forms were taken and it is to be hoped that some, at least,
turn into actual members.