Southport Flower Show 2008...
Park’s 34-acres again provided the venue for the 79 Southport Flower
Show, which proved to be another highly successful 4 day event, held
over 21 August to 24 August 2008. Officially opened by Coleen Nolan,
this year’s theme centred on Southport’s support of Liverpool’s 08
Capital of Culture. Despite an indifferent summer, we were luckier
than expected; the weather proved warm and despite showers, there
was enough welcome sunshine to enjoy too. Whilst Thursday and Friday
seemed perhaps a little quieter than in past years, this did afford
the opportunity for visitors to see the exhibits more clearly,
without pressure. Saturday and Sunday were much busier. The ambience
was welcoming, the crowd happy and relaxed, if perhaps a little
thriftier this year, wandering around the ground and its many
Prime targets were, of course, the big marquees, where the exhibits
were on show and people could admire the handiwork; agreeing with
the judges on some awards, expressing their own views on others.
Delights of colour and shape abounded both here and on the outside
exhibits. Beauty in form, perfection in individual blooms,
imagination, originality, ingenuity, in displays and choice of
materials, some leavened by flashes of humour and even absurdity.
Above all, this showed evidence of the many months of commitment and
hard work packed all around us. Trophies and prizes were indeed won,
but every exhibitor was a winner with the public, the standard was
Large exhibits, such as local authorities’ displays, gave plenty to
look at, from Liverpool’s fascinating presentation of Mr Roscoe’s
Garden, based on the collection of Mr Roscoe, who founded the
Liverpool Botanical Collection in 1803. There was truly an apt and
inspiring way to support Liverpool’s Year. The more one looked, the
more one discovered. It is to be hoped that the supporters are able
to go on displaying this treasure in years to come and are well
supported in their efforts. HM Prison Thorncross’ Skyline of Dreams
reflected Liverpool’s cultural diversity and famous buildings and
the vibrant garden of HM Prison, Kirkham thrilled the eye with its
striking colours and amusing Diddymen and their thatched cottage.
Sefton’s interpretation of aspects of Liverpool’s scenes and culture
were reflected elsewhere in outside exhibits, as were historic
themes, football and, of course, music.
The large outdoor gardens showed great diversity in interpretation
from Rock Gardens with pleasing cascades to pools and platforms,
flowers representing the football theme and to one intriguing piece
in which Liverpool itself was literally represented by a liver
shaped pool! So many people produced stunning displays for our
delectation! The larger displays did not eclipse the smaller
offerings however, and visitors pored over vases of flowers, prize
vegetables, cacti, bonsai trees, themed competition entries; all
manner of fascinating productions!
The children’s and student’s gardens were amazing. Professor David
Bellamy, was most encouraging when he presented the winners with
their prizes. From indigenous plants to model boats on a miniRiver
Mersey, they were most ingenious and offered hope for gardening in
the future. On Sunday, children were challenged to build a garden
from scratch in one and a half hours under the watchful eye of
Professor Bellamy, OBE, who congratulated them on completion: a
feat, which was well accomplished. David Bellamy also commented that
the Southport Flower Show was so strong in the support all
contributors offered each other from amateur and professional, young
to more experienced. Indeed, he and fellow patron, Professor Stefan
Buczhacki, Roddy Llewellyn and Diarmuid Gavin along with all the
committee have worked hard to present this special event.
Throughout the 4 days regular gardeners’ advice question time and
lectures were held and exhibitors were also keen to supply
information and hints to enthusiasts. Dotted about the show ground
too there were many garden suppliers peddling their wares but also
often knowledgeable about different horticulture and gardening
Apart from the competitive and non-competitive entries, commercial,
society, and authority or amateur, there was a multitude of other
displays to grab the attention. One particularly striking exhibit
was the unique sculpture entirely composed of pink, yes pink Blu-tack
comprising an arrangement of flowers designed by Elizabeth Thompson
and skilfully crafted by Edmund Woodward, to raise money for the
Breast Cancer Campaign.
Also distributed around were a wide variety of emporia selling a
bewildering array of garden ornaments and knickknacks, clothes,
household utensils, wines, holidays and services, and most welcome,
a large variety of beguiling food purveyors issuing tantalising
smells to mingle with floral perfumes and to wet the appetite quite
Other exhibits, including those in a large marquee, offered
exquisite rural craft work from carving to jewellery, pretty clothes
to ornaments, a sculpture area and much else. Beekeepers had people
fascinated watching the colony going about its business. Honey was
available and tastes even better when one appreciates all that goes
into its production.
Other exhibitors offered advice on a myriad of questions on beauty
and health issues from homeopathy to mobility aids and much more.
Sefton Walk and Cycling group promoted their contribution to
achieving more active lifestyles. There was so much to do and see
around the stalls, it’s easy to miss mentioning some but it all
provided great entertainment. Hopefully stall-holders managed to
sell sufficient, although it seemed that people were slightly less
willing to spend this year.
Amongst other interests was the photography competition tent
displaying some remarkable shots of wild life and nature, which made
for excellent viewing. There was even a bowling competition. One
lady there said that it is a big plus that there are plenty of
places to sit and relax in the park, unlike at other shows.
Throughout the 4 days, regular events were held in the arena. The HM
Dog display team was both interesting and amusing. The ease belying
the work which must have gone beforehand, both human and canine!
Sonny and Rainbow, talented clowns, entertained the audiences, both
young and old, with their comic routine. The Vanda Brothers produced
thrilling, if perhaps nerve-racking antics, on a whirling
contraption high above. The Hawk Experience was an informative and
fascinating chance to watch the true masters of the sky, the hawks,
in action; soaring high above the crowd and off into freedom, even
on Saturday going AWOL for some time but being retrieved from
Birkdale in time for food!
Handlers make the
complex look so easy, but the birds are the real stars. Morris
Dancers added their expertise on Saturday.
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...continued... On the Band Stand, a diverse range of music and a fill-in comedy act
derived good audiences, especially, when the sun was out, the
renowned Wingates Brass Band acquitted itself well as did the Blue
Bells a steel drum band and Kings of Rhythm, Liverpool Swing Band
and Streetwaves. Sound pulsated across the show ground, all adding
that magical, feel-good factor of a good day out. On Saturday, a
special event took place, in which Roddy Llewellyn’s signed,
gardening themed braces were auctioned for a children’s charity;
this was an amusing interlude with a good outcome -- £50 towards the
Throughout the Show various acts patrolled the ground, two
“flowers” on stilts, clowns on a 2 way bicycle, another,
with a ladder balanced on a ball and hilarious “singing nun”
riding around playing a key-board and cheerily addressing the crowd.
Children were also well catered for with a crèche with activities
and an outside play area.
Ladies’ Day on Saturday saw a fashion show and a competition for the
best-dressed lady. It was a huge success and enjoyed by models and
guests alike, as well as providing a flurry of stylishly dressed
ladies to adorn the crowd.
The organisers are to be congratulated on a great show but also the
behind the scenes workers; the many individuals, who got this show
together. All the exhibitors, artists and the stewards and the
emergency services, who kept the show going, deserve our thanks too.
In the words of Wallace and Gromit, “A grand day out!”.
More photos and text
about this event next week...
Find out what sex is the best Male or Female
know who is best... Find out at the
Battle Of The Sexes at the Latin Lounge, on
Post Office Ave. Southport.
The night will
be full of entertainment all designed to
find out just who is better, male or female.
With a Disco, Games and a free glass of
Punch, the night will be a real blast...
So are you up for it?
All the money
raised will go towards the medical treatment
of Carol Morris, who is a Southport Mum, who
is severely ill, with Cancer. Tickets are
£6.00 if booked in advance and £7.00 on the
door. Strictly 18 and over.
The night is
supported by Southport's Nice 'n' Noughty
Adult Shop and ourselves at PBT Media
Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter.