All Records Broken - 1935

(Show now held on Saturday)








The Summer Show of the Bovingdon and District Horticultural Society was held on Saturday in the grounds of Bovingdon House by kind permission of Lieut.-Col. and Mrs. Middleton. The weather was of the variety that flower show officials pray for and there were signs from the very outset that all the hard work that had been put into the organisation was going to be rewarded by an eminently successful event. And so it proved to be throughout the day, all previous records for the show being broken.

The entries for the show were 519, a record number and there were also more exhibitors than before. The judges were Mr. D. W. Bedford, of Berkhamsted, and Mr. T. Avery, of Gaddesden, and they had a none-too-easy task to adjudicate on the many entries of vegetables and flowers that were obviously above the average standard.

Mrs. Simpson and Mrs. Seward were the judges in the Ladies’ Classes and they expressed the view that the cakes were of exceptional quality, the children’s needlework was of a high standard and the pickles were very good indeed. In fact here again the entries were of such a high standard generally that the judges had considerable difficulty in making their awards.

The exhibits were staged in a marquee that presented the appearance of the veritable garland. At each entrance there were the trade exhibits: The Lye Green Nurseries, Messrs. Lane’s Nurseries and Messrs. F.J. Woodman and Son, Pinner.

A centre of attraction was the Women’s Institute Stall, which was heavily laden and crowded with articles that had been either home-made or grown by the members of the Institute. The result was that the stall contained not only a variety of articles but also many articles of exceptional use and value. The Women’s Institute are to be congratulated on their effort and especially the sub-committee responsible for the arrangement of it: Mrs. Glenister, Mrs Wilmore, Mrs. Spinnoy, Mrs. Steele and Mrs. Joiner.

Other items of unusual interest in the marquee were the two course cooked dinners to cost not more than 1s (shilling). There were seven entries and the housewife’s ingenuity was taxed. This is how Mrs. Greig, the winner of the 1st prize, managed it: Mince 5d, peas 1d, potatoes 1d, pastry 2d, blancmange 1id, raspberries 1d, barley water and lemonade 1d; total 1s.

There were 18 entries for the homemade cakes, which had not to cost more than 2s, and the winner, Mrs. Reed, made hers at a cost of 1s 6 1/2d.

In the purely horticultural section there was much to please and to marvel at. Competition was keen but young Tom Reed deserves a special mention. We are told that his garden is a perfect picture and we can well imagine it to be so. His father is the energetic Hon. secretary of the show and it was because so much time was occupied by “Dad” in the society work that Tom took up the entries. He won more prizes than any other exhibitor and annexed two cups. The lad, who is broad and bonny, left school last Friday and the top prize for gardens on the school plot was won by Tom and his pal. We tried to get him to talk of his garden but he has a practical turn of mind and was the moment extremely busy with the arithmetical problem of how much cash he was to receive. Tom wants to take up gardening as a profession.

The Society seemed in this show to take a new lease of life. There was a freshness about everything; a briskness at stall and sideshows that bespoke good business on all hands. Special tribute should be paid to Mr. E. Reed, the hon. secretary, who had laboured assiduously and skilfully for weeks and months before the show; to Mrs. Mackie, the hon. treasurer, who carried out those onerous duties smoothly and capably and to Mr. A. V. Parker, F.R.H.S., the Chairman, whose unique knowledge of these events and organising ability stood the Society in good stead. The President, Lieut.-Col. G. J. Middleton, not only placed his charming grounds at the disposal of the Society, but took a great personal interest in the show. The other members of the committee were: Mrs. A. V. Parker, Miss Middleton, Mrs. H. Banks, Mr. W. Brooks, Mr. P. Wilmore, Mr. J. H. Brown, Mr. E. L. Reason, and Mr. R. Menheneott.

It was an extra pleasure to visitors to partake of tea on the lawns and a greatly appreciated concession by the President and Mrs. Middleton.

The meadow adjoining was the scene of great activity and the sports were entered into with zest by the adults and children alike. The parade of decorated cycles attracted only five entries but it added a nice splash of colour to the proceedings.

It was a delight to see and welcome Mr. E. Edwards, who was at one time Hon. Secretary of the Hemel Hempstead Horticultural Society, and after wandering in the wilds of Essex has returned to the district at Darley Ash, Bovingdon. Mr. Edwards was a gate steward with Col. Mackie, Mr. H. Burgin, and Mr. H. Banks.

Others in charge of stalls, etc., or on duty in various ways were: Clerks to the Judges: Mr. F. C. Bayliss, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Seward. Tea on the lawn: Arranged by Mrs. Middleton and helpers. Outside teas: Mrs. Parker, Mrs. F. Gurney, Mrs. Sale. Tombola: Mrs. Strode, Mrs. Moss Gurney, Mrs. Sale. Cokernuts: Mr. A. H. Banks and Mr. W. Hamer. Water Bowls: Mr. Davey and Mr. Menheneott. Corinthian Bagatelle: Mr. Vaughan. Football Kicking: Mr. A. G. Banks and Mr. J. H. Beaven.

Mr. C. W. Brice and Mr. Geo. Parish had kindly presented a lump of coal each, and Mrs. Fassnidge was kept busy collecting the fees and recording the guesses of the weight of each lump.

Mrs. Greig has kindly made an iced cake and with a little book and pencil set to recording guesses at the weight of the cake and the plate it was on and collected a very large number of three-pence’s.

There were two pigs on view, nice animals, too, each being a prize for bowling at skittles. Mr. J. and Mr. F. Gurney, had charge of one bowling alley and Mr. Reason and Mr. Merridan the other. There was a second prize of a joint of meat and also a prize of another joint of meat for the top score at darts, and the two butchers of the village, Mr. Rickett and Mr. Druce, had generously donated the joints.

Stoney’s ice cream was on sale and the proceedings were enlivened by the programme of music, amplifier by Smith’s Radio, Kings Langley.

In a nutshell, to use the words of one of the organisers, the show was a record success; record entries, record attendances, and a record in happiness and good fellowship.

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