The National Begonia Society


Held in Conjunction with
The Gardener's Weekend,  Kings Heath Park,  Birmingham

Saturday 4th. &  Sunday 5th. September         Judges: R Bryce, D Coates, G Thompson (SBS).


8' x 4' Group - 1st.
Sam Kennedy

4' x 4' Group - 1st.
Jeff Rhodes

4' x 4' Group - 2nd.
Bill Ash

12 Cut-blooms - 1st.
Alan Bryce

12 Cut-blooms - 2nd.
George Hawkins

12 Cut-blooms - 3rd.
John Chiswell

THE NATIONAL SOCIETY CHAMPIONSHIP 12 Cut-blooms - 4th. Philip Champion

Best bloom in Show

Alan Bryce
with City of Ballaarat

John Chiswell
with his 3rd. placed
12 board

7 Pots -1st.
Barry Walker

7 Pots - 2nd.
John Dearn

One of Lakin Earl's
Winning 6 Pot restricted entry

6 Cut-blooms - 1st.
Ralph Trinder

6 Cut-blooms - 2nd.
Michael Richardson

6 Cut-blooms - 3rd.
Philip Champion

3 Cut-blooms, distinct varieties
1st - George Hawkins

3 Cut-blooms, distinct varieties
2nd. - John Chiswell

3 Cut-blooms, distinct varieties
3rd - Les Smith
Basket - 1st.    2nd.  &  3rd.
Ken Wilkes

12 Cut-blooms
1st. Alan Bryce

Nichola Coates, Powder Puff, City of Ballaarat (best bloom in Show), Coppelia, Sweet Dreams, Beryl Rhodes, Whispers,
Seedling x 2, George Tatton, Tahiti, Barbara Bryce.
2nd. George Hawkins
Nichola Coates x 3, Powder Puff x 2, Isabelle Keirnon x 2, Tequila Sunrise, Beryl Rhodes, Tahiti, John Harrison,
Powder Puff, Barbara Bryce
3rd. John Chiswell
Colin Hamilton, Lucy Allely, Golden Hind, Westlawn Carousel, Fanfare, Alexandria, Syme Star, Bonny Brenda,
Roy Hartley, Charlotte, Sweet Dreams, Gypsy
4th. Philip Champion
Alexandria x 2, Sweet Dreams, Isabel Keenan x 2, Rachel Ann, Coppelia, Mrs Dan Ramage, George McCormick, Vera Coates, Jennifer Wilson, Fred Martin

6 Cut-blooms
1st. Ralph Trinder

Gypsy x 2, Daisy Trinder x 2, Tequila Sunrise x 2
2nd. Michael Richardson
Ruby Young, Sweet Dreams, Lindsey Smith, Powder Puff, Sweet Dreams, Gypsy
3rd. Philip Champion
Sweet Dreams, Fred Martin, Anniversary, Evelyn Dunn, Coppelia, Whispers
7 Pots
1st. Barry Walker

Orange Mrs McLauchlan, Fred Martin, Mrs E McLauchlan, Apricot Delight, Jessie Cruickshank, Sweet Dreams, Fairylight
2nd. John Dearn
Beryl Rhodes, Mrs E McLauchlan x 2, Fred Martin x 2, Jennifer Wilson, Primrose

An exhibitor's experience.  
   Once again, this year, exhibitors' prior to the National were concerned with the weather conditions which were being experienced in the run up to the Show.    At the beginning of the Season, during March and April, the temperatures in many Areas were unusually cold, particularly during the night and begonias were at least three weeks behind schedule. Would they catch up in time for the National?
   Then, the months of May, June and July, were exceptionally warm, with daytime temperatures soaring to over a hundred degrees inside glasshouses, however dropping dramatically during the nights. These varying differences caused many plants to stay dormant and did not show much development at all. When they eventually, started to move the weather turned wet dull and humid, which further impaired growth.
   This of course affected timing of blooms, which caused headaches for all. On the Friday morning prior to the Show, I phoned Jeff Rhodes, Show Secretary, to say that I would probably not have sufficient blooms to stage a Twelve Board. I would however, attempt to exhibit a Six Board and a few three boards, rather than leave any half decent blooms at home. I also had a few pots of Rex.
   Dorothy also had a few cut blooms and some Rex, which she had grown and decided that she would also take them to enter in the Novice Classes.
   The only problem was space. Thankfully, I traded in my eleven year old Fiesta in the Autumn for a Focus Estate, which enabled the accommodation of our exhibits.
   When I began cutting my blooms late on Friday afternoon, I saw that I would probably have sufficient blooms for a twelve board after all.  Thankfully, Jeff had not withdrawn my entry and when we arrived late on the Friday evening, I decided to enter a Twelve Board .
   I managed to scrape twelve reasonable blooms, however, I did not hold much hope out of being placed. At least the public, if not the Judges, would appreciate my blooms. Most importantly, I was happy to support Jeff.    Jeff always welcomes entries, particularly in the Seven Pot and Twelve Cut Bloom classes. I also exhibited three pots of Rex and a few Three Boards.    Dorothy too, unaided, staged three cut blooms, one bloom and a pot of Rex in the Novice Classes.
   On the Saturday morning of the Show, I was pleasantly surprised with the number of entries in all classes. Jeff had obviously been busy rounding up all those who support the National every year. His efforts had paid dividends, as there were more exhibits on the Show benches than I had seen for quite a number of years. There were however several Twelve Boards vacant, with a number of entrants failing to time their blooms on time. Congratulations to those who managed to exhibit despite the unfavourable weather.
   Barry Walker was victorious in the Seven Pot British Championship, with John Dearn second. Lakin Earl once again, took first prize in the Six Pot restricted .    For the second year running, Alan Bryce was once again crowned National Champion for his Twelve Board. George Hawkins second, John Chiswell third and Phil Champion fourth. Ralph Trinder, won the Six Board.
   It was nice to have met Bill Ash. I had known of Bill for many years, but had never met him. It was nice to have finally met you Bill and your wife.
   All in all, despite the unfavourable weather during the year, exhibitors rose to the challenge and our National was probably one of the best for many years as entries were well up on last year.
   It was also nice to see Alan Harris being awarded the Silver Medal in recognition for his hard work over many years as Judge and National Begonia Secretary.
   And of course, as always, it was nice to see Samuel and Betty Kennedy, accompanied by George Thomson S B S; Judge, our friends, from North of the border.
   A big thank you to Jeff Rhodes and all those who assisted him in preparing for the National.
Dorothy and I, thoroughly enjoyed meeting new members and old acquaintances again.

Pictures and text by Ian Rhys Williams.
Pictures by Dave Coates        More pictures by Ian Rhys Williams          Pictures by Dave Staines