Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Holditch Hall 64th Annual Flower Show

Posted on by royvickery |

Since 1955 the Holditch Hall committee has held an annual flowershow on the second Saturday in August.  Holditch is a tiny community in west Dorset, near its border with Devon, and still largely agricultural.

Inevitably a number of changes have occurred over the years, not so much in the show itself as in the, what was called, fete associated with it.  At the first show there was a children’s fancy-dress parade, which persisted for a few years.  Skittling for a pig, in which the winner won a small, live pig, continued for longer until it was realised that few people wanted to keep a pig until it was mature enough to be slaughtered.  In the early days there were a number of stalls and sideshows: tombola, bobbing the cork in which competitors tried to see how many floating corks they could remove using a hat-pin from a tin bath within a minute, pony rides, and bric-a-brac stalls.  These have largely been abandoned, and the main attraction is a ‘Family Fun Dog Show’, which despite its name appeared to be a serious affair.

Inside the Hall there was a good display of flowers, vegetables, fruit, and also classes for home produce, handicrafts and photography for adults, and 27 children’s classes.  Exhibits were staged between 7 and 8 p.m. on the Friday evening, or between 8 and 10 a.m. in the morning, after which the Hall was closed for judging to take place.  The show was officially opened at 2.30 p.m., and exhibits remained in place until 4.30 p.m.  At 4.15 p.m. various ‘special awards’ were presented to the winners.  Over the years the show has accumulated 21 such awards ranging from the Jack Turner Memorial Trophy awarded to the most outstanding exhibit in the fruit and vegetable classes, to the Garden News Oak Shield awarded for the highest number of points in the floral art classes.  Any exhibits remaining after 5.15 p.m. were auctioned in aid of Hall funds.

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