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Barwick Flower Show 1902

from The Barwicker No.79
Sept. 2005

This article was published in the September 1902 edition of the Parish Magazine. It describes the activities of a predecessor of the present Horticultural Society (see 'The Barwicker' No.66) and indicates that a century ago the parishioners were just as enthusiastic in the growing of flowers and vegetables, and the home production of food as they are today. The third flower show was described in the Parish Magazine of September 1904 (see 'The Barwicker' No.47) when some serious questions were asked about the real function of the show.

The first show of our own Horticultural Society was held on August 16th, and proved a complete success; it cannot fail to have a stimulating effect upon horticulture in the village. The Show was limited to our own parish in order that it might be simply a competition amongst neighbours and free from "foreign" importations. The Committee offered 10 in prizes, and wisely determined that beyond this there should be no more expense than was absolutely necessary. The Show was therefore held in the Schoolroom and the labour of preparing the room was given freely by the members of the Committee themselves. By this means everything was done economically and a nice balance reserved for next year's Show, when the Committee will be justified in extending the prize list without risk of financial loss.

It is impossible to give here a complete list of prize winners and it is unnecessary to do so as this was given in the Skyrack Courier (sadly no longer available to us. Ed.) The prizes were tolerably well distributed, and if a large proportion went to the neighbourhood of the old Workhouse it was because the skill and enterprise of the growers living there fully merited their success. Amongst the cottagers' exhibits the feature was undoubtedly the fine display of vegetables; they would have been a credit in any show.

In addition to the exhibits of plants and flowers, and there were many that were beautiful, especially in the amateurs' classes, a large number were sent for exhibition only, not for competition, from the gardens of Potterton Hall, and the Rectory, and from the County Council Farm. These added greatly to the interest of the Show and were much appreciated. The allotment gardens that were entered were all very good, but the judges felt that a greater variety in cropping would be an advantage. The allotment holders may think it pays better to grow only a few sorts of vegetables, but when it comes to competition variety goes a great way towards securing a prize, other things being equal, and the judges say it pays better.

The Show was fortunate in securing the services of most excellent judges, who were kind enough to take all this trouble freely, and for the sake of a good cause. Miss McKerrow, from the Dairy School of the County Council Farm, judged the Butter, Eggs and Bread; Mr Frank Reddington from the horticultural department of the Yorkshire College, and Mr Turton from the gardens at Becca Hall, judged everything else. It was extremely good of them to devote so much time and skill to their task, and it is pleasing to know that their awards gave complete satisfaction to everybody, even to the losers. The onerous duties of Hon. Secretary were discharged by Mr John Birch, and to him a very great deal of the success and smooth working of the Show were due; the members of the Committee were all most zealous, and the way in which they worked both to prepare the room and clear it after the Show was an object lesson.

A General Meeting of the subscribers will be held in two or three weeks, when a balance sheet will be presented. It may, however, be said that there will be 7 or 8 to carry forward to next year. Application has been made for a course of six lectures to be given here after Christmas, and these will help us to do greater things next year. The subjects which have been asked for include small fruit trees, roses, hardy flowers, etc. They should prove equally as interesting, even if not more so, as those given last winter.
(From the Parish Magazine of September 1902)

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