REPORT ON THE VEGETABLE SECTION AT SHREWSBURY FLOWER SHOW. The entries at the show were excellent and the quality superb, primarily because of one local young man from Oswestry called Andrew Jones. It’s not that long since Andrew started exhibiting but he has already made a place for himself in the annals of vegetable exhibiting.
It was a few years ago that I was very critical of the Shrewsbury Show committee in the manner they dealt with the public at breaking up time of their show. Numerous exhibitors, myself amongst them, had to make a scramble for their vegetables as quickly as they possibly could as they would have been taken off the tables by the mingling public. However, on this occasion I have to be very complimentary to them in the correct way that that they handled the judges prior to the commencement of judging. We were all informed to congregate in the Secretary’s office by 6.30 am for a coffee or tea and then be escorted by the stewards down to the judging marquee for 6.45.
Whilst we were chatting and drinking coffee, other stewards further down the dingle would be busy clearing out the exhibitors at 6.30. This meant that when we arrived inside the marquee there wasn”t a single exhibitor to be seen, absolutely perfect and the way it should be. A great pity that the RHS themselves don’t follow such rules, rules that have been formulated by themselves to ensure that fair play is being seen to be done. This rule seems to go through the window at the RHS Autumn show where I have been greeted by exhibitors on my entrance to the hall rather than being taken to a side room until the hall was cleared.
The entries at the show were excellent and the quality superb, primarily because of one local young man from Oswestry called Andrew Jones. It”s not that long since Andrew started exhibiting but he has already made a place for himself in the annals of vegetable exhibiting. Andrew, with his lucky Red base ball cap, had 20 entries in the show and managed to win 14 Firsts with them. There is no award at the show for the best dish of vegetables, had there been one, then his New Red Intermediate long carrots would certainly have been my choice. Three specimens were required for the class and Andrew assured me that he only pulled the three on the table. What was particularly striking was their freshness and their deep orange colour.
His peas Show Perfection were superb and harvested at their peak of condition, another two days and they could have been over the top. The pods were dark green with the bloom intact, well filled with eleven large peas (picture attached) Shrewsbury show is noted for it’s baskets of salad and vegetables and Andrew won both classes with well filled baskets containing a wide range of top quality material. (picture attached)
One class he really took me by surprise was the one for Courgettes, I say surprise because he staged a near perfect dish of 6 round varieties called Eight ball..
Norman Hoskins travelled all the way up from Cornwall to help stage the phenomenal Three Countries exhibit of 589 different kinds of potatoes which placed them in the Guinness book of records having beaten their own previous record of 525. Norman somehow even managed to find time to stage a small display of 30 dishes of his own potatoes to win this class for the second time.
Bob Oliver from Acton Beauchamp has been exhibitiing for many years but I’m sure that he must be on the threshold of the best season he has ever had. He won the collection of three plates of potatoes with Kestrel, Sherine and Malin. Bob grew his potatoes in 500 polythene bags, following the Trevor Last method that I wrote about in Garden News earlier this year. An enormous amount of work and I predict that he will certainly be amongst the cards at the later nationals.
Another local was Gwyn Davies from Llansanan Denbigh who had a lovely dish of three Welsh Seedling leeks after what he called a relatively slow growing season.
Another Welsh winner was Graham Fletcher from Swansea who has overcome club root in his plot to win with two excellent Amerigo Cauliflowers.