Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Shows
The Horticultural Department runs four Shows per year, which are held in March, June, August and October. The June and October Shows are run alongside the Cattle Shows which the Society also arranges.
Each Horticultural Show features lots of classes, which cover varying categories. You can find the following categories at one or more of the Shows throughout the year:
Cacti, Succulents & Carnivorous
Fruit (adult’s and children’s classes)
Vegetables (adult’s and children’s classes)
Flower Arranging (adult’s and children’s classes)
Cakes & Bread (adult’s and children’s classes)
Heaviest / Longest fruit, vegetable and egg
The details of the specific classes for each Show can be found in the Show Schedule (there is a different Show Schedule for each Show). The awards and trophies available to win at each Show are also listed in the Show Schedule.
Who can enter?
To enter some of the classes, you need to be a member of the Society but others will be ‘open classes’ meaning that anyone can enter, whether a member of the Society or not. You can enter as many or as few classes as you wish, but you may only enter each class once. There are classes specifically for children, and the age limits will be listed on each class title.
How do I enter?
To enter something into one of the Shows, read the Show Schedule (available to download below and at the RJA&HS, or call 860648 to receive one by post) and decide which class(es) you wish to enter. Then download and print the Show Entry Form and complete it. If you need help completing the Entry Form, please contact the Horticultural Secretary on 860648 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for entries is usually 10 days before the Show – check the Show Schedule for this information.
Setting up your exhibit
You can set up your exhibit before the weekend of the Show at certain times (which are listed in the Show Schedule). All entries must be anonymous to the judges, and so you’ll be given a card with your exhibitor number and a class number on. When you arrive at the RJA&HS, head into the Exhibition Hall and there will be a brown envelope with your name on, containing your exhibitor cards. Each exhibit must have an exhibitor card with it, in order to be judged.
Once you have your exhibitor cards, find the space in the hall that is labelled with the Class you have entered and set up your exhibit there. There will be stewards on hand to help you if you can’t find it. The hall is set out so there is enough room for the number of entries in each Class, please don’t try to re-arrange the class layout.
It is important that you stage your exhibit in the right place, and exactly as it’s listed in the Show Schedule. i.e. if the class title is ‘Anemones, Red, 1 vase, 10 stems’ you must make sure you have exactly 10 stems in just one vase and that they are the colour red. If you put 9 or 11 stems in the vase, or split them across 2 vases – your entry won’t be judged and the judges will leave a card saying ‘Not According to Schedule’. It is very disappointing for the exhibitor and the judge, to award ‘Not According to Schedule’ when so much effort goes into entering the Show. It is so important that you study your Show Schedule and double check your entry is correct. If you need any guidance, please speak to the Horticultural Secretary.
Judging takes place on the Friday night or Saturday morning before the Show and judges are elected in advance by the Horticultural Committee. The judges will allocate 1st, 2nd and 3rd and Commended in each class and will decide who wins the various awards and trophies available at each Show. The judge’s decision is final.
How do I know if I’ve won?
When the Show opens on Saturday morning, awards that have been given to your exhibit will be displayed alongside it.
When will the prizes be presented?
Any trophies that are awarded, are either presented on the Sunday afternoon of the Show or at the Society Dinner in November. Details of the presentations will be in the Show Schedule.
When can I take my exhibit home?
We ask that exhibits aren’t taken home until the Show closes on the Sunday afternoon (see relevant Show Schedule for opening times). Members of the public pay to come and see all the exhibits, so it is important they have a full Show to see! The hall is usually cleared up on the Sunday evening and Monday morning, and it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to ensure they collect their exhibit ASAP after the Show.
Cakes will be auctioned on the Sunday afternoon, for a charity chosen by the Horticultural Committee. If you would prefer to take your cake home, please note this on your Entry Form, and it will be excluded from the auction. All cakes will be auctioned unless requested otherwise on your Entry Form.
How can I help?
We’d love your help with the Shows and there are plenty jobs you can get involved with if you wish. We’re always looking for volunteers to help man a stall, man the entrance gate, help with refreshments in the kitchen, set up the hall, write prize cards and tidy up after the Show. Please get in touch if you are keen to help.
Who do I ask for help?
If you have a query about the Show, please contact the Horticultural Secretary on 860648 or email@example.com