Allendale Horticultural and Industrial Show

Always held the week after Allendale Agricultural Show, the Flower Show is now in its 166th year! That must make it the longest-lived organisation in these parts, apart from the churches, of course.

The plain text poster has gone up in Allendale area notices, and local gardeners are busy mobilising their flowers and vegetables for judging at the Primary School this morning. By afternoon, the long tables will be open for viewing by the general public.

We’ve always enjoyed our visits to the Flower Show, marvelling at the dramatic vegetable produce, exclaiming over the beautiful flowers and their arrangements, oohing and aahing at the ‘industrial’ section with its huge baking, preserves and needlework displays. The long tables feel like a presentation of Allendale to itself, somehow: this is what we grow, do, work at when we’re home. And the children’s efforts supplement the whole show so nicely.

But it’s been a few years since we’ve actually made it out to the show, and naturally we’re the poorer for that omission. On the other hand, we have been concentrating on our own garden efforts, high up on the fellside, which always seem to fall so far short of the brilliant entries expected today. Someday, perhaps, we’ll be confident in the things we can actually grow successfully, to contemplate entering against stiff competition.

This year it’s clear that the organisers have thought extra hard about keeping the children amused, with football, face painting, and vintage cars on display. For the price of an adult’s admission, the children get in free! And besides, the kids will probably want to see some of their own work displayed as well.

For a treat, towards the end of the day, you can avail yourself and family of a nice cream tea with home-made scones, and some lovely ice cream, while chatting with friends and neighbours. It’s low-key, friendly and unhurried, this show, but with just enough bustle to keep everyone on their toes.

A great fixture on the calendar of Allendale’s annual events, for sure. John Short has kindly forwarded on some photographs of the exhibits at this year’s show, taken just before the doors opened to let the public viewing begin. Thanks John — looks like an impressive display!

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