National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn 1996


Moving a show to a new venue is always a considerable risk; however in this case it proved a success. Facilities for showing, staging and catering were all an improvement, and there was a noticeable increase in the number of visitors. It was most pleasant to meet members from Ireland, Yorkshire, London and Bristol as well as those residing somewhat closer.

The heatwave once again took its toll of blooms; many of the best went over well before show day and many of those that made the bench were struggling to maintain freshness. Pat Tipping and Stephen Leigh, both managed to stage in the viola and pansy classes, if on a somewhat reduced scale. Wendy Akers travelled from Wakefield with blooms and put up a creditable display in the novice section. Of particular note was a fine bloom of 'Jack Frost'; this pipped a good example of 'Bernard Cox' from Glyn Lucas for the red card. John Warmer from Bridgnorth took the Milner Novice Trophy, and indeed the novice class gave a great deal of optimism for the future. It must be mentioned that Karl Tipping spent much time helping the newcomers to stage their exhibits.

Although entries in most classes were down, there were noticeable exceptions. It is a long time since so many violettas were seen together, and four 24 boards were no mean achievement; two, including the winning board, were staged by Fred Owen, winner of the Stephen Leigh Rosebowl and also awarded Tom Pitt's Teapot.

The award for a best exhibit went to a 12 board of Fancy Pansies including a few seedlings amongst old favourites such as 'Bishop's Belle', 'Peggy Brookes' and 'Jessie Taylor'. Bedding violas as always was a strong class with vases of 'David Wheldon' 'Gladys Finlay' and 'Irish Molly' catching the eye of visitors.

A show does not take place without the work of those behind the scenes. Our Treasurer, Gerald Barber, not only put in the footwork to secure the new venue, but could be found before and after the show moving and sweeping. All exhibitors and visitors were most grateful for the fine refreshments, and Pauline Leigh and Joan Stacey viewed the show mostly from inside the kitchen door. Their work in making people welcome usually ensures a return.

Videos from our previous shows are the items most requested from the Society library. Once again this year, Christopher Leigh recorded the event carefully following the work of our judge and Chairman, Tom Mantle. President Tom Pitt was, as ever, on hand dispensing wisdom and pork pie in equal quantity.

Overall, a successful show, and l think an encouraging one, not only for the Society but also for the future of Violas and Pansies. Three old stalwarts of the North of England Society, Tim Grace, Ray Frost and Bob Trippit all attended and with an upsurge of interest, that Society may once again resume its activity.

Autumn 1996

Editorial News Show Pansies Annual Show
Mr Jackson Scottish Shows National Collection King's Heath
Plant Distribution

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