Shrewsbury Flower Show Day Two

 

Shrewsbury Flower Show Day Two

 

In my first report from the show I spoke of the arena events mostly and didn’t say too much about the rest of the show. Now to address that imbalance and take you to the other side of the Quarry Park where a whole host of interesting things were occurring.

Before that however, one feels obliged to thank the weather arranger for getting it just so right. Both days of the show have been sunny, calm and hot. Not a typical British summer at all. Well done to whom so ever was responsible for that. Hopefully they ordered a bulk load of good weather that will hold until September.

The show definitely appeared to have two sections. There was the arena side where once again we were enthralled by the show jumping, the geese herding and the clowns with a crazy self driving car. In the other section if one was to treat the bandstand as a demarcation zone there was a whole host of things for show goers to enjoy.

This was the competition element of the show and accompanied by the sound of a brass band, who incidentally had a great upbeat feel to their work, one could wander around the marquees and see just what Shropshire men and women are capable of.

The over sized vegetables were pulling people in with judging already done it was clearly displayed who had won. There were parsnips fit for Goliath’s table, there were leeks so thick they could have been used for the show jumping poles if they hadn’t had enough in the arena. There were cabbages that one could only give respect to in case they got up and smothered you. I am sure they must feed them on live elephants instead of plant food. There were carrots the length of the M54 and there were onions the size of cannonballs. All marvellous to see and so impressive to know that Shropshire has so many green fingered residents. Well done to all the competitors your displays were stunning.

If you were seeking elegance and beauty you could do no better than to view the flower arrangements. There were such fusions of colours, aromas and beauty. The lilies were highly attractive but for me the roses have and always will be my absolute favourite flower. Fuchsias come a close second but there was such an array of beauty it was relief that all I had to do was write about them and not judge them.

The beekeeper seemed highly popular as he had a constant crowd around his displays as he gave his talks about apery life and honey yields. It’s hard not to admire the bravery of beekeepers. If you have been stung by a bee you will know that it hurts a lot and these guys are risking life and limb to pursue their interest. More power to their elbow as it certainly is a case of rather you than me.

If I wanted to be picky - which is part of my job, I might mention that again profiteering was rife. I selected a modest bag of pick and mix fudge and went up to pay for it, there was about nine pieces of fudge. Eight pound ninety I was told. I hastily put some back and with just six pieces brought the price down to four pounds ninety eight. This is endemic to any event with a captive audience and should be stamped out. Might it not be better if the organisers of the show were to introduce some kind of cap on prices? It is such a shame to walk away feeling you have been stung. Actually I know how the beekeepers feel. However once again that had nothing to do with the excellence of the show and everything else was just as it should be.

One may be tempted to ask if it might be possible to get slightly more for the arena so the days could be different. Understandably today’s audience was made up of people who had been at work yesterday but if anyone came for the two days the arena wouldn’t have held them for long, as it more or less replicated the events of yesterday. That’s only a small point and maybe food for thought for the next one, next year.

In summary I would say that The Shrewsbury Flower Show has grown beautifully over the last one and a quarter centuries. It has learned as it has grown. It is in a breathtaking setting, it is stunningly beautiful, the overwhelming feeling as you walk around is one of calm and it is possible to just completely lose yourself in amazement of what is possible in the way of horticulture. Shropshire needs to proud of its heritage and take care of it. For beauty, activity and sheer enjoyment you would have to travel a long way to find anything better and it’s right on our doorstep. We’re kind of lucky that way. Bring on next year’s show I am already marking it on my calendar.

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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