Welcome to the Allotments Associations 41st Anniversary year and thank you for supporting our Show.
I have had several people ask me during the last few months if we would be cancelling our Show as the weather this year, with the extended cold period in the spring followed by the extremely warm weather during the summer, has meant that there was a slow start to our season and an extended dry period that has affected the growth, maturity and performance of some of our crops. Whilst potato and tomato blight has been kept at bay with the lack of rain, other pests have thrived like blackfly, aphids, ants and the vibrant lily beetle to name but a few. For those of us wishing to remain as environmentally free of chemical use in our gardens and allotments, this has posed a different challenge. What makes most us all here love gardening is the fact that each year gives us different trials to face and one year is never the same as the next. Like-wise all those practical hobbies and interests other than gardening that we have seen on display in this year’s Show gives us ideas and encouragement to pursue new adventures next time.
This year’s Show therefore, many of us felt would not be as good as previous years and the surprise came as the Show entries filtered through. We received 635 entries from 89 entrants. It was an unexpected surprise and very pleasing knowing that we could present another good Show. These 635 entries was 22 less, but the 89 entrants was an increase of 18 compared to last year. The highest number of entries previously recorded was 704 in 2011, with the highest number of entrants being 97 in 1992.
Compared to last year our Vegetable sections have not been so good with 36 less than 2017. There were no new record breakers in the mammoth classes, which is not a surprise. The Capel Residents classes and the Novelty classes were down 23 collectively. The Longest Runner Bean was also victim to this year’s climate. The fruit classes were again very good and on par with last year. There have been some fabulous artwork and Handicrafts entered this year and I think the judges have found it quite difficult as the exhibits were so good, the Handicraft was up by 6 entries. The children’s classes have continued to show a steady increase particularly the under 10 age group and class 119, the scarecrow print-out from the website to be coloured in, had 14 entries. It is lovely to see the imagination and artistic skills of our younger generation and so pleasing to watch them seek out the results of their endeavour’s. It was great to see the Photography entries back up again, we were 47 up on last year. This has always been traditionally very popular and some of the photographs this year I felt could have been entered, or may have been, into the BBC Countryfile competition for the 2019 calendar!
It has been fantastic that we received 77 electronic entries, from our website, that’s (80%) with only 12 ‘paper’ entries. This is a huge improvement from last year and saves you all time in the long run as you can enter from the comfort of your home and it also allows us to collate the data more efficiently and accurately. One of the down sides to electronic entries is that I miss seeing you all knock on my door and exchange the social banter that has historically been tradition.
I would like to thank you all again for entering the Show and continuing to demonstrate such high standards of entries. Thanks too to all the committee and helpers and I look forward to seeing you all next year.
The following resources have been made available for downloadClick here for details of the Major Prize WinnersClick here for details of the winners of the individual classesClick here for details of the Best Kept Allotment competition