We arrived at venue to be greeted by a very helpful and friendly group of people, all who seemed a little surprised to see me from up north! They were no more surprised than I was to find the information on the web was accurate, in that there were 17 societies, clubs or groups showing trees, as well as two individual displays. Add to this an impressive list 13 traders and a Suiseki display, you should be getting the impression that this was a show worth a visit.
Enjoying this show were 270 visitors (not including the children) plus club members of the displaying societies and you have a total of more than 350 people, a very good total for a venue in a school away from a town centre.
As far as the trees and displays are concerned, there were a lot of both, with many good quality trees, although I felt some of the displays were a little busy, hardly a surprise considering the relatively small hall. They were presented well, all clean, tidy and healthy, in good pots and mostly on stands, with accent plants - a credit to all displaying them.
In total there were in fact some 165 trees and around 20 stones on display, along with a good array of accent plants and plantings. A wide range of goods from collected trees, pots, stones, stands, feeds, and tools along with some established trees were to be found from the thirteen traders in the second hall.
During the day Paul Finch kept people entertained with his demo, styling a large pine and carving a privet trunk, both looked very good at the end of the day.
Whilst the show was not judged, what was done was to give each visitor a voting slip to pick their top three trees, with the honours going to a Cyprus on the Newbury Society stand. All credit to Mark and Ming Moreland for organising the event. How well they and their band of helpers did to pull this logistical miracle off, a very helpful group they all were. What most impressed me most was the degree of enthusiasm I could feel whilst talking to people, a day which I totally enjoyed, a day which I will certainly repeat next year. Congratulations to all involved.
Barry Walker Chairman,
South Staffs Bonsai Society
The following Fobbs member societies exhibited at this Show:
Bedfordshire Bonsai Society
Berkshire Bonsai Society
Chiltern Bonsai Society
Eastbourne & Wealden Bonsai Society
Middlesex Bonsai Society
Newbury & District Bonsai Society
Solent Bonsai Society
Surrey Heath Bonsai Society
Sussex Bonsai Group
Swindon Bonsai Society
The Bonsai Group
Wessex Bonsai Society.