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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2015
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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2015

You should receive this newsletter with your Shows Handbook for 2015.  It has been sent out to all known exhibitors, judges and anyone else who has requested one.

Misprint: Page 3 of Handbook, date of the Malvern Show should be 10 May.


Message from Mary Randall – Acting Director of Shows

As Acting Director of Shows I am issuing this very brief note in the hope that you will be as supportive of our Society’s shows as you have been in the past.

You may note that there are a number of minor changes to the schedules.  Some Show Secretaries have agreed to incorporate some miniature trough classes in their schedules, mainly to encourage the less experienced growers and showers.

Jon Evans has expended considerable effort on remodelling the Artistic section to make it possible for the Show Secretaries to cope with the considerable interest and expertise of the exhibitors. Do please take note of the reduction in maximum size for paintings, drawings and needlework.

I would ask every member attending the Shows, in whatever category, to make a special effort to provide plants for the Alpine Garden Society’s plant stalls as all Show Secretaries have been requested to try to make sure that their balance sheets do not show a loss.  As the AGS is a registered charity all our members should be made aware of the need to make the Shows a source of income and not purely a place of interest for exhibitors.

Have a good new show year.


In this issue

  • New Style Venues and Sunday Shows
  • Names of Shows
  • New Exhibitors
  • Show Reports
  • Artistic Section Changes
  • Artistic Aggregate Awards

New Style Venues and Sunday Shows

The Society's Board of Trustees (previously Main Committee) and the Shows Committee have been keen to experiment with new types of venue and shows on other days of the week, in an attempt to reach a wider audience.

London - Sunday Show

After a successful show in London on a Sunday last year, this will be repeated on Sunday 26 April. Last year’s show was hugely popular with over 800 visitors, and with exhibitors from all over the country.  Sunday offers easy access and free parking near to the hall, and a hall with excellent lighting for the plants and artwork, not to mention an opportunity for a day out in London for exhibitors who don’t wish to spend all day at the show.  Please consider coming – it is much easier than you think.

Malvern - now a Sunday Show

Maintaining a one-day show at Malvern has been difficult as we had to find ways of filling the space with something of interest to the public for the other three days. This year, the successful schools competition, organised by Ross Barbour and Helen Picton, will be repeated and expanded. This will be displayed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will then be cleared for our Plant Show which will now take place on Sunday 10 May. (Note the misprint of this date on page 3 of the Shows Handbook.)

The Artistic Show will take place on all four days as it has for the last few years.

Bakewell - Sunday Show

This show will again take place on a Sunday: 14 June. Be careful if you use satnav to get to the show hall - some of them take you into the car park on the wrong side of the river and you will have to carry your plants across the footbridge! See the instructions in the Shows Handbook.

Pershore - new venue for the July Show

New management at the Pershore College are very keen to develop their relationship with the AGS. The original reasons for leaving Pershore with the July show were the increasing cost of the facilities and poor lighting in the Show Hall. The college have now offered us new facilities for the show at no cost. The new site is a large glasshouse (about a quarter of an acre) with automatic shading and ventilation., adjacent to the College Plant Centre which already attracts visitors. The college will also make catering facilities available for exhibitors and visitors. In view of the very poor visitor numbers at Tewkesbury and poor catering facilities, not to mention the fact that the Society has its headquarters and garden next to the new proposed show venue,it was felt that a move back to Pershore was an obvious choice.

Newcastle - new venue

Another experimental new venue that should encourage additional visitor numbers will be used this year at the Newcastle Show. This is being held at Cowell's Garden Centre, popular with local gardeners and voted Garden Centre of the Year for the fourth time. There are three pubs nearby!

Harlow Carr - new venue

Last year's new Autumn show in the north is also moving to a new venue. It will be held this year in the popular RHS Garden at Harlow Carr, another venue that should help to bring in more of the public.

Names of Shows

Some of the shows have been renamed to make it clearer where they are, for example:

Early Spring is now the Harlow Early Spring Show.

North Midland is now the Chesterfield Show.

Summer North is now the Bakewell Show

Autumn South is now the Kent Autumn Show.

Autumn North is now the Harlow Carr Show.

New Exhibitors

Do you know anyone that might be persuaded to become an exhibitor – of plants, paintings or photographs?  We rely on our exhibitors to maintain the high standard at our shows and a steady supply of new exhibitors is required to maintain these standards.  Most new exhibitors are brought along to a show by an existing exhibitor.  Even if they don't bring any plants this year, point out the Novice Section (plants) and the Intermediate Section (Artistic) to them and encourage them to think about having a go next year. Draw their attention to the leaflet on showing plants that went out with the December Journal.

Show Reports

Show reports continue to be published in the Society Journal. Full text versions of the show reports from each show are still being published on the Society's website.  If you are not online and would like copies of these, they can be obtained from the AGS centre.

  • We have removed the old classes 216 and 219 (6 painting classes) which are very seldom entered now.
  • We have removed the mandatory requirement for notes in the design classes (232, 233 and 277) & replace with “which may be supported by brief notes on the purposes for which they are intended”.  Many decorative designs are produced without a specific purpose, and are usually exhibited as “greetings cards”.  This ‘purpose’ adds nothing to the exhibit.  In other cases the intended purpose is integral to the design (address card, cushion, T-shirt, stained glass panel, glass engraving etc), and the exhibit will benefit from notes explaining the purpose.
  • The maximum size for paintings, drawings and needlework pictures has been reduced and now “must not exceed 40cm × 30 cm including mount” (portrait or landscape).  Previously they were allowed to be 50cm x 35cm, which can cause problems - if the show is using boards which are approx 90cm by 60cm, they may only fit one painting per board.  Photographs are limited to 40cm x 30cm including mount already.
  • Classes 258 and 259 (previously 238 and 239) will now appear at London and Malvern as well as the Summer South Show.

Artistic Aggregate Awards

The Society has received a new award, the Nancy May Herbert Memorial Award, which will be given to the exhibitor who achieves the most first prize points in the Open Section for Paintings Drawings and Needlework.  The Ferns Art Trophy will revert to the overall Artistic Section aggregate in the Open Section (combining photography and paintings drawings and needlework).

Finally, the rules for the aggregate awards for the Intermediate Section have been revised for consistency with the plant aggregate awards.  These awards will go to the exhibitor eligible for the Intermediate Section who has achieved the most first prize points in aggregate in the Intermediate and Open sections.


Exhibitors Newsletter edited by Jim McGregor

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