Words & photos: Damon Sugden
Celebrating their 100th anniversary with Pudsey’s annual spring show, the Pudsey Allotments & Cottage Gardeners’ Association (or Pudsey Gardeners’ Association, for short) were back in full swing on Saturday showcasing talented local growers and crafts people.
The 2022 show, held for the first time at the Parish Church at Pudsey, featured hundreds of entries across an incredible 103 categories.
And it’s not just about growing flowers and veg – there were classes for crafts, baking, photography, art, flower arranging etc, as well as special categories for children.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience; the colour and smell of spring filled the Parish Church.
So much effort had obviously gone into both the public entries and the show itself. It was also extremely popular with the public who were thrilled by the entries on display and were also able to buy from a wide variety of garden and indoor plants, many of which were specially grown by Association members.
Asked about the show and the standard of entries this year, secretary Ian Feber said:
“It’s very good and we are very pleased with how many entries we’ve got. The last show we ran was 2019, when we had 405 entries. With two years off because of Covid, this year we had no idea if anyone would come out, some of the people who used to enter are no longer with us, and we are always worrying about the flowers because of the weather (they thankfully survived the late frost and snow).
“But we had 482 entries of all kinds, with lots of new baking and craft entries, so it’s been a great result. We’ve not seen everybody for two years, you get to recognise the regulars over time, but there are a lot of new faces here today which is great support.”
The show had 482 exhibits in total from 88 exhibitors. Mr Feber said:
“That makes 2022 the biggest spring show I have been involved in since I took over as show secretary 10 years ago. Compared to 2019’s show (which was the previous biggest), overall entries were 18% up and we had 46% more exhibitors thanks to lots of first time entrants.
“Handicrafts entries showed the biggest increase – up 126% (from 38 in 2019 to 86 in 2022). Pudsey is a crafty place! We also had over 380 people through the door. 2019 was about 300, so an over 25% increase in visitors.”
And Mr Feber paid tribute to the ‘beautiful’ Pudsey Parish Church ad venue. He said:
“We were knocked out by the space when we saw it and the flexibility…and it’s nicely central – everyone knows where it is, and the stained glass and building is a beautiful setting.”
Mr Feber would like to give thanks to the following people: “The Reverend Richard Dimery and the team at the parish church for making us so welcome, our chairman Frank Lodge whose suggestion it was, all of the Pudsey Gardners’ team – particularly Lynda Aspin and Sue Wilson.
“We are fortunate to have a great group behind us, so big thanks to everyone that has helped, volunteered or contributed their time. It’s much appreciated.”
Sadly some of the members couldn’t make it today because they were ill, but they were in everyone’s thoughts. Look out for the Pudsey Summer Show – Saturday 3rd September again at Pudsey Parish Church.
Mr Feber told WLD: “We want our 100th year to be a bumper one and we hope you will all want to renew, and encourage your friends and family to join us too.
“We are a great community group, with a 100 years of service to the gardening community. And, to dispel any myths, you don’t have to have an allotment to join us! We welcome any gardener, from those with acres to those with a few pots on a balcony; from those with green fingers; to those who haven’t a clue. The more the merrier! Please note the membership fee for 2022 remains unchanged at only £3, all community support is welcomed.”