Popular spectacle back in town

Alnwick Spring Show 2014'The Mayor of Alnwick, Bill Grisdale, admires the blooms.
Alnwick Spring Show 2014'The Mayor of Alnwick, Bill Grisdale, admires the blooms.

A feast of flowers, cookery and colourful creations will be on display this weekend as a popular annual event returns – and there is still time for competitors to submit their entries.

The Alnwick Spring Show will be staged at the town’s Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday and organisers believe the ingredients are in place for a blooming good day.

The popular spectacle of horticultural gems and culinary treats has grown in size since starting in 2007 and attracts a wealth of exhibits from far and wide.

Show coordinator Gill Starkey is confident that the 2015 offering, which runs from 11am to 5pm, can build on the success of previous years.

She said: “There will be an amazing amount to see and everything is on course for the event to run smoothly.”

One of the aims for 2015 is to encourage more youngsters to enter the show. The classes have been changed this time round to create more quirky and imaginative categories for children to participate in.

Novelty classes in the children’s open include making a fantasy car out of vegetables/fruit/foliage and creating a cress eggman or woman, while children’s cookery will range from a mini pizza to decorated gingerbread shapes.

First-prize winners in the children’s sections receive a rosette while each youngster who enters will be given a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, sponsored by WHSmith.

For adult competitors, there will be open and amateur classes and categories include daffodils, tulips, floral art, cookery, sugarcraft and general horticulture.

And as the clock ticks towards the start of the show, Gill has said that last minute entries are welcome andis encouraging anyone interested to submit an exhibit, whatever their level of expertise.

She said: “Even if you don’t think that you are a good gardener or a good cook, I would just say, have a go.

“There are categories in the daffodils and tulips for people who live within a 20-mile radius of Alnwick, so it is a good place to start for say, less-sessoned gardeners.”

Judges on the day will be Philida Irving, Rae Beckwith, Marion Dickinson, Margaret Onions and Keith Eyre.Lord Howick of Glendale will present the prizes at 3pm.

Meanwhile, members of Alnwick’s Pottergate Pantry will attend the event to offer cafe-style refreshments.

There will also be a plant stall and local crafts, while a number of locally-based organisations will have stands.

Admission is £2, but exhibitors and U16s are free. All entries are free, but exhibitors must not submit more than one entry per class.

Applications for classes in the floral art section (1 to 4) are to be submitted to the show secretaries by the end of today. Entries for classes 5 to 81 will be accepted tomorrow from 4pm to 9.30pm and 7am to 8.45am on Saturday. Prior notification to the show secretaries would be appreciated.

The show programme is available from libraries and tourist information centres.

The show secretaries are Mrs V Parker (01665 604350 or david.intarsia@yahoo.co.uk) or V Murphy (01665 608150 or murphy.vera@btinternet.com).

For more details, including full programme, competition classes and entry form, visit www.alnwickspringshow.uk