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There is now a month to go until the annual Long Marston Horticultural Show on the 3rd August. The only potential problem we may have is with the weather! Not on the day, but the problems people have had in recent months trying to grow produce through the coldest spring on record!

A central part of our show is the Flower and Produce Show that takes place every year in the Village Hall itself. Some people who come enjoy the activities on the recreation ground but are unaware of the exhibition going on indoors. Long Marston is one of the only villages locally that runs such an exhibition and it is genuinely open to all. With the development of the Wilstone allotments as well as the Long Marston ones, hopefully green-fingered members of the village community will be entering their fruit and veg at the show and winning the various cups on offer. The event also awards The Worshipful Company of Gardeners Diploma in Horticulture for “Best in Show” in 4 categories. There is also the highly competitive ‘Floral Art’ section under the scrutiny of Neil Gurney.

However, this is not all that goes on in the Hall. For those of you without a clue who to successfully grow plants, like me, the Horti Show also offers classes in a variety of other categories. For all you budding bakers, we have over 20 classes in Domestics, from Cake making to Jams and home-made wine. Why not try to make this year’s speciality cake, Battenburg. You can get the recipe from the Show Schedule which will be posted through your letter box FREE very soon. There are also classes in needlework, jewellery, painting and photography, so you have a wide choice of items you can enter. This does not even include the specialist children’s classes on page 5! 

As is always the case, staging a show of this magnitude involves needing plenty of hands to ensure everything run smoothly. We start in earnest on the Friday morning when the hall is laid out and  mark up the field for the following day. Work starts early on the Saturday as all the stalls need to be set up, including putting up all our gazebos and large party tents. After the show, it all needs to come down again, but we do reward ourselves with a pint or two in the Queens Head ! Anybody who can spare an hour or two would be made most welcome.

Let’s hope the weather holds and we have a sunny day for our biggest event of the year and you are inspired to have a go at some of the classes I have highlighted in the Hall. Don’t forget to put your name down for the big Tug-of-War fight in the afternoon on the field!

Article by Toby Davidson.