CONGRESBURY GARDENING CLUB

Shows

Staging the Show

Staging the Show

It may be of interest to mention a little of the considerable organisation involved in arranging our annual event. Next year’s “Show” really begins for the Society on the day of this year’s Show. On “the day” the judges will have been asked to let the committee have any comments they may wish to make concerning this year’s schedule of classes”.

The Society appoints judges of high standing in their various fields and their comments on the schedule are invariably constructive and helpful. The Secretary collects these comments and has them ready for the committee meeting that is held soon after the Show and at which the remarks will be handed over to the sub-committee who will spend many long hours preparing next year’s schedule. In a schedule containing over 80 classes of exhibits the work of this committee is hard and one could write a book about how it is all thrashed out and finally put together in a new schedule by the following March when it goes to the full committee for approval.

Also, immediately following the presentation of the trophies, the Secretary has the task of collecting them, arranging for their engraving with the new dates and names and then delivering them back to the new holders. In February it has to be decided how large a marquee will be needed and how many collapsible tables will be required and a firm order must be placed for these. A date has to be agreed with the North Somerset Council, the printing of the schedules must be put in hand, judges appointed and liaison with other village organisations must be maintained. The days immediately preceding the Show become quite frantically busy.

The collection and recording of several hundred entries and the preparation of exhibitors’ place cards, etc., occupy several committee members for successive evenings. On the day before the Show, the arrival and erection of the marquee needs to be supervised. Once that is completed it is a case of “all hands on deck” in order to prepare the layout of the marquee, erecting a large number of tables, covering them with large sheets of black polythene, the allocation of adequate space to accommodate the number of entries received in each class and marking these areas clearly. Show Day itself is a day of intense activity.

Exhibitors have to be helped to collect their place cards and be shown where the various “classes” are to be staged. Judges have to be met and offered hospitality in the form of coffee and biscuits. By 10.30 am the marquee must be cleared of all except the judges and committee members and judging starts. Yet even this solemn ritual is not without its humorous moments! It is the habit of some judges to write brief comments on small cards and to leave these on the table alongside some of the exhibits. There was an occasion at one of our Shows not very long ago when a “Class” for home made apple tarts attracted two especially meritorious specimens. The judge must have been particularly impressed; she placed them side by side - “first” and “second”. The card she wrote and placed by them expressed her approval - she wrote “Two delicious tarts”. The two most highly respectable ladies thus honoured must have wondered! The atmosphere of calm serenity which prevails in the marquee when it is opened to the public after judging is completed, is a tribute to the efficiency which has been at work since last year’s show. So now 1989 sees the production of the Society’s 50th Show.