This was a diverse show with entries in a wide range of classes, showing how versatile our gardeners are. We expect dahlias to be the most dramatic exhibits at this time of year and they lived up to expectations. There was a variety of traditional colours but the almost black varieties shown by Gill Jones and Debbie Anscombe attracted comment too. Michael Figg won the Dahlia Members’ cup and was the only entrant in the Dahlia Championship cup with three cultivars.

Fuchsias also figured strongly with a new class for fuchsia blooms floating in a bowl proving very popular. The special class for cuttings of fuchsia Paul Pini purchased at the Spring Show was won by Martin Higgins. This did not seem as popular as last year’s Celia Smedley. Last year’s plants had obviously done well as there were plenty of Celia Smedley blooms to be seen in the single flower classes. Ann Higgins won the Harry Tester cup for a flowering pot plant with a perfect white orchid while Christine Naested won first prize in the foliage plant class with a really frilly heuchera.

It wouldn’t be an autumn show without pumpkins. Ian Cooper’s had the largest circumference – even if the weather this year had produced a rather wrinkled skin. The squash category is proving very popular, with 11 entries but once again Chris Gurr’s Italian Marina di Chioggia caught the judge’s eye over all those ordinary butternuts.

Other vegetables did not disappoint. Alan Smith’s collection, including some outstanding carrots and leeks, won him the Massey-Dawson cup while Tim Richardson’s long parsnips contributed to his success for the Helena Hall cup. Along with the more traditional vegetables, chillies are now a regular feature of the autumn show, along with peppers and aubergines. All of these were shown both as plants and individual exhibits.

It was great to see two new entrants, even better to see them winning prizes. Andrea Fall won a number of categories and her plate of cherry tomatoes was judged Best Vegetable while Alex Armstrong’s enormous raspberries were awarded Best Fruit.

Michael Elliott won the LHS Runner Bean Race with his five beans making the longest line. Visitors were admiring the length of the beans in this class, but commenting less favourably on whether or not they would like to eat them! Andrew Harding won the Ron Pickett trophy for the most points over the year in the trug class, his entry this time was a large trug packed with flowers and veg – from roses to beetroots.

The chocolate Victoria sponge class produced plenty of entries – is this the Bake Off effect? Tne judge said it was a difficult decision but the very flat top and delicious filling gave first prize and Best in Show to Jocasta Fearn. Only one entry for the lemon tart but Glenise Buck’s elegant creation drew a lot of comments. There were few handicraft entries – maybe everyone is too busy gardening in the summer. Maureen Manly’s elegant knitted snood was awarded Best in Show.

The special flower arranging class to link with the Arts Festival, for a design based on Peter Voigt’s violin shop, was won by Barbara Hoy. She produced an ingenious design incorporating a violin, a bow and packets of violin strings. Clare Wilson’s All Hallows Eve display included a pumpkin with flashing lights.

The children’s colourful piñatas were admired and their photographs of a garden ‘B’. Most chose butterflies apart from Florence Fearn-Hughes, who had a bee. ‘Endangered species’ ranged from a red squirrel to a black and white lemur!
The judges commented on the high quality of the exhibits while the visitors did the same for the cakes in the tea room!

Rosemary Humphreys


A list of all the cup and award winners is below.

Cups and Awards

The Bob Lacey Silver Salver - Jocasta Fearn
The Massey-Dawson Cup - Alan Smith
The Helena Hall Cup - Tim Richardson
The Dahlia Members Cup - Michael Figg
The Huddart Cup - Richard Hilson
The Dahlia Open Cup - Michael Figg
The Penney Cup - Barbara Hoy
The Harry Tester Cup - Ann Higgins
Kieron James Toys Shield - Florence Fearn-Hughes
The Junior Shield - Emily Sutlow
The LHS Pumpkin Cup - Ian Cooper

Best In Show:
Vegetable - Andrea Fall
Fruit - Alex Armstrong
Pot Plant - Martin Higgins
Cookery - Jocasta Fearn
Handicraft - Maureen Manly

LHS Annual Cups & Awards
The Lady Wilkinson Silver Tray - Lorelei Hilson
The Morecombe White Cup - Annette Page
The Proctor Cup - Michael Elliott
The Shepherd Cup - Michael Elliott
The Ron Pickett Trophy - Andrew Harding
The LHS Perpetual Shield - Liam Jolly
The Shepherd Perpetual Shield - Emily Sutlow