THERE was an impressive 875 entries in the 66th annual horticultural show in Sulby – compared with last year’s 700 – as organisers hailed Saturday’s event a ‘tremendous success’.
Another encouraging figure is the estimate that around 70 per cent of entrants were brand new to the show, or any horticultural show, a success credited in part to a new website and extensive advertising campaign.
It was also Kirstie Martin’s first year as show secretary.
Kirstie said: ‘It was quite a baptism of fire, the show’s committee were exceptionally busy, and with so many entrants it was quite a task to administrate.’
Kirstie explained: ‘It has not been a brilliant year for growing, so we saw dips in the number of things like vegetables and flowers, but we had big increases in categories like confectionery, preserves and photography.’
The visitors’ book even revealed a few visitors had popped in from as far afield as the UK, as the high number of exhibitors was matched with a healthy attendance by members of the public.
‘It was a gorgeous day, so the weather helped enormously,’ said Kirstie. ‘We also had plenty going on, like a creative craft area for children, and the raffle.’
A new Facebook site and a poster campaign around the north helped get word around ahead of the event as well.
Exhibitors arrived to set up their displays on Friday evening and Saturday morning, with judging beginning at 10am, with results starting to filter in soon afterwards.
Best in section awards went to: vegetables, Mark Quayle; fruit, Josie Corrin; flowers, Kathleen Kneale; pot plants, Mrs Farrington; floral art and photography, Julie Stephens; soft handicrafts, Hazel Martin; hard handicrafts, Ronnie Crowe; eggs, preserves and honey, Claire Lewis; wine and beer, Rosie Christian; confectionery, Kevin Martin.
The top award for young people’s crafts went to Butterflies Day Nursery for their amazing loaghtan sheep and Celtic cross display, and Harry Eyres for his creatively-carved vegetable car.
A full list of the results will be available on the show’s website, www.sulbyhorticulturalshow.net.
In the afternoon the show was opened to members of the public, with Irene Teare conducting the official opening, before she inspected the displays to pick out the ‘best in show’.
The honour went to Mark Quayle and his cauliflower exhibit.
Finishing off the day was an auction to sell off the remaining produce, which Kirstie described as having ‘a very positive and entertaining atmosphere’.
Kirstie added: ‘A big thank you to all committee members, show supporters, sponsors, Irene Teare, auctioneer and president Dennis Duggan and all of our vital, extremely valuable exhibitors.’