Tropical temperatures did not deter villagers from flocking to St. Andrew’s church paddock, for Congresbury village fete and Flower show, which was better than ever this year, with attractions for all ages.
The upbeat sound of the Cadbury Saxophones encouraged slackers to the event, and the paddock was filled with stalls, manned by different village groups, coupled with a bouncy slide and ball pool, and a display by Avon Owls.
The Morgan car display of handmade luxury vehicles, and the vintage cars displayed by Debbie Fortune, the Audi shortly destined for Le Mans, drew appreciative crowds, mainly men.
Police cadets were trying their hand on the Congresbury Bowling Club pitch, and the Police were also offering free security marking for bikes and phones, and performed a Police dog display.
Stalls selling food and drink were exceptionally busy, with burgers, cakes, cream teas, icecream, a beer tent, and a cocktail bar with Pimms, keeping the crowds fed and watered, with many picnicking under the trees.
The Scruffs Dog Show, inaugurated last year by Watkins & Tasker, was even more popular with plenty of entries in the varied classes, which ranged from the best dog biscuit catcher to the dog with the waggiest tail.
Hottest part of the site was the marquee housing the Congresbury Gardening Club summer Flower Show, which Show Organiser Rosemary Bailey stoically manned for hours. She obviously got acclimatised with long sessions in the kitchen, producing prizewinning cakes and marmalade, which merited the trophy for the most points in those classes.
She commented,”Although entry numbers did not set any records, unlike the temperature, keen growers still came up trumps, as did the bakers, who entered over 50 cakes.”
A recent flower demonstration in the village may have been the inspiration for the increase in floral displays, with five entries in some classes. Jonquil Brooks and Sue Dury led the prizewinners and shared the Darke cup for the most points.
A superb display by Liz English of a Nursery rhyme was judged the best exhibit.
It was particularly appropriate in the year celebrating women’s vote that the most successful exhibitor was Gardening Club committee member Jane Hares from Hewish. She swept the board with vegetables, flowers and pot plants, winning three trophies for the most points in adult, pot plant and horticultural classes.
Les Howland entered nine perfect, full podded peas, which were judged the best vegetable exhibit, and his dish of mouthwatering cherries was the best fruit entry. He took home the cup for the most points in fruit and vegetables classes.
Chris Clarke won the cup for the best horticultural exhibit with her outstanding cactus.
Village rose growers are still holding their own against outside competition and David Anderson and Jenny Edwards featured strongly among the prizewinners. David was awarded the bowl for the resident with the most rose points.
A display of cream, pink and red roses by Mike Sheppard was judged the best rose exhibit, and he won the President’s cup for roses.
Now fully retired, Howard Sims seems to be concentrating his energies on growing sweet peas. Following in the footsteps of the sweet pea expert Bill Maggs, Howard entered prizewinning blooms in all five sweet pea classes, with two entries judged best exhibits. He won the cup for the most points.
In the past there have been as many as 20 Victoria sponge entries, but, even with the heat, there were nine entered, and nine lemon drizzle cakes. Fran Low’s shortbread was judged the best cookery exhibit, and she produced the winning Mad Hatter’s tea party.
Holding his own in that class was six-year-old Thomas Brumby, whose entry gained him the cup for the best children’s bakery entry.
Quilting was prominent in the handicraft section, and the colourful tree and leaf quilt, made by Anita Wright, was judged the best exhibit. Dave Hares unique walking stick, carved with a hare, won first prize.
Congresbury artists gave the judges a hard task, but they awarded Brenda Wright the top prize for her superb painting of galloping horses. Jenny Campbell’s picture of a terrier was the best exhibit, and gained her the Graham salver.
Plenty of evidence of the keen photographers in the village and Mike Bigger won the Editorial team trophy with his photo of a setting sun in the country. Chris Day gained prizes in three classes, and his photo of a Japanese tourist, sporting six cameras and a phone, was a clever entry in the Technology class.
Children in the village showed their enthusiasm and energy, with over 40 entries in some classes. The Chetland family were prominent, with Lauren Chetland winning the cup for the best exhibit with her story book garden, and her sister Chloe entering a delightful image of Super Girl.
The book related themes were instigated by Di Hassan and Congresbury library donated books as additional prizes in those categories.
Sofia Passmore made a superb animal collage and won the cup for the best school exhibit, and under 16 year old Holly Bruton was awarded the cup for the best photo exhibit with her portrait of a young girl with a Mona Lisa smile.
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