The Welsh Championships, which were held over the August Bank holiday weekend, proved to be a truly fantastic show. I was quite amazed at how the standard of this show seems to be improving year on year with exhibitors from all over the country making it, next to the National itself, one of the top vegetable shows in the Country.
The Welsh Championships which were held over the August Bank holiday weekend proved to be a truly fantastic show. I was quite amazed at how the standard of this show seems to be improving year on year with exhibitors from all over the country making it, next to the National itself, one of the top vegetable shows in the Country. It was held inside the renovated Orangery at Margam Park and kindly sponsored by the Port Talbot Council. Such was the quality of the show that between the Margam show and the Welsh Branch Championships, there were 37 dishes of nine runner beans staged and any of them would have won at most other shows. The venue inside the Orangery, which is over 300 feet in length, must make it one of the best possible venues in the whole country for such an event.
National Potato Championship
The highlight of the show are the four special classes and the pleasant surprise this year was that a young lady, Sherie Plumb, won the Garden News Trophy for the best five dishes of potatoes in the National Potato Championship of Great Britain. I met Sherie for the first time a few years ago when she won many classes at the RHS summer show in Wisley. I knew immediately that this lady had a fantastic eye for vegetables and her attention to detail was overwhelmingly evident. The varieties she staged were Winston, Osprey, Kestrel Malon and Nadine. Although Bill Hughes from Swansea had won this class seven times in the past, three in succession, he was the first to congratulate her an a marvellous clean uniform exhibit. Sherie also won the class for two cucumbers as well as the class for Pickling shallots.
National Leek Championship
The National Leek Championship of Great Britain was won by Gerald Treweek of Chesterfield with a very heavy set of three Welsh seedling leeks. Gerald also won the Welsh Onion Championship with five onions of the Derek Raw selection.
National Tap Root Championship
Derek Price from Brecon mid Wales won the National Tap Root Championship of Great Britain for the third successive year, the first time for anyone to achieve this. The schedule asks for 2 parsnips, 2 long beetroot, 2 carrots long and 2 carrots stump, Derek staged 2 Gladiator parsnip, 2 new Red Intermediate carrots, 2 Gringo and 2 Long Black Beet.
Best Exhibit in the Show
The best exhibit in the show went to John Branham for a collection of six kinds of vegetables with Redstar F1 Celery, Welsh seedling Leek, Gladiator Parsnip, Kelsae Onion, New red Intermediate Carrot and Kestrel Potato.
Reserve Best Exhibit
The reserve best exhibit went to H. H. Butler from Gwent for his dish of Five Winston potatoes, they were immaculate and each potato within the dish were approaching 8 ounces in weight, a really good size.
Pair of Celery
The class for a pair of celery was won by Trevor Last from Stowmarket with a marvellously blanched dish of the new FI hybrid Redstar.
Collection of Onions
An interesting class, and a most difficult one to win, is the Collection of Onions where the requirement is for a dish of Onions over 250 grams, a dish of onions under 250 grams, a dish of exhibition shallots and a dish of pickling shallots. This was won by John Branham for the first time and it was probably as good as any that I have seen over the years. There’s no doubt that this was one class where John pulled all the stops out as every dish was from the top shelf.