Cuffley Horticultural Society - Your local gardening club

Cuffley Show 2009

There was something for everyone to enjoy when six local organisations got together to put on this (believed to be the) first ever CUFFLEY SHOW on Sunday afternoon.

Concentrating on basic flowers, fruit and vegetables the Cuffley Horticultural Society organised the event and there were over eighty entries for the twenty show classes. Instead of the usual browsing, exhibits were examined much more closely because everyone could join in the “judging” process. Nearly one hundred people voted for each of the six Best Exhibit Awards.

Alan Motts won The Harwin Shield for his tray of five different vegetables and The Steel Trophy for his truss of large tomatoes. The Stan Fox Memorial Cup was won by Maureen Papworth for her plate of plums. In a close contest, votes for Mary Rensten secured the The John Woodbridge Rose Bowl for her large roses. Using his exceptionally good dahlia blooms, Bruce Bennett was awarded The E R Cook Dahlia Cup for three fine specimens and also The Silcox Memorial Cup for a large bunch of mixed colours chosen by voters from twenty exhibits in the Flowers & Foliage classes.

The Cuffley Floral Art Club took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of NAFAS (National Association of Floral Arrangement Societies) with floral arrangements that showed how styles had changed over the years. Beginning with the simple ideas of Constance Spry for everyone to brighten their homes, through various developments of modern, parallel and continental variations to the golden flowers displayed on the pedestal at the head of the floral art tables.

The Potters Bar & District Photographic Society covered the end wall of the hall with large and beautiful pictures. They also used computer displays to demonstrate modern techniques. Several members were on hand to discuss details and participate in discussions on the merits of film versus digital and the number of mega pixels needed for good photographs. The wide variety of subject matter displayed was also of interest when visitors recognised locations they had visited, including pictures taken during the recent CHS visit to Cornwall.

Young Gardeners at Cuffley and Northaw junior schools participate in various school projects, particularly related to protecting the environment, and belong to gardening clubs at those schools. They meet during lunch times and after school to tend plots and flower beds in the school grounds. The long summer holidays do not mesh well with an early September date so material for this Show was somewhat limited. The large model hedgehog with spines of sempervivum (houseleek) on the Northaw School table attracted a lot of attention, along with other examples of pupils work in class and in their gardens. On the west wall of the hall, the Cuffley Art Society displayed examples of their work demonstrating the use of oil paint, watercolour and other techniques. There was an impressive variety of subject matter, ranging from photo-like country scenes to modern art that gave more scope for viewer’s imagination.

Adding more variety to the Show the Northaw Women’s Institute loaded their tables with a selection of useful household items made by members, including patchwork quilts, candles and greeting cards. They had also been busy cooking various tasty-looking sponges and cakes. Visitors were able to discuss the practical aspects of the work on display.

In a colourful corner, appropriately near the stage, the Cuffley Players constructed a miniature theatre complete with lighting and scenery. It was attended by members dressed in theatrical costume. Visitors were able to recall earlier productions and learn about future activities. The players are currently rehearsing for their next production, which will be ‘Humble Boy’, a poignant comedy by Charlotte Jones, 18-21 November at Cuffley Hall.

In the concluding ceremony Marjorie Reeve, chairman of the Cuffley Parish Council, presented the Horticultural Society awards and Doug Millen, President of the Cuffley Horticultural Society, thanked the other organisations and all those who had contributed to the success of the Cuffley Show.

It appears that the opportunity to participate in the judging process encouraged people to examine exhibits very carefully and form opinions on the qualities of individual entries. The Society Committee would welcome feedback on the voting process from those who came to the show. AGO