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Hurst Horticultural Show 'best show for years'

Published: 25 Aug 2014 09:300 comments

HUNDREDS of people turned out to see flower arrangers, gardeners and bakers go head-to-head in the hotly-contested Hurst Horticultural Show.

Tallulah Sant, two, with a Zuchetta Rampicante, a type of squash.

Crowds flocked to the Hurst Village Hall in School Road on Saturday for the 101st annual show, which was founded in 1902. Apart from the two world wars, it has missed only one year since.

With 133 categories there was something for everyone, including fruit and vegetables, Bonsai trees, bouquets and men’s flower arranging competition. More than 600 guests attended throughout the day and show chairman Cathy Tuggey said it was one of the biggest shows for many years.

She added: “It is a really high standard. Some of the entries are beautiful, and some are amazing.”

Entrants and visitors to the show were not confined to Hurst and came from Wokingham, Reading, Earley, Woodley, Arborfield, Crowthorne, Maidenhead and Twyford. Inside the main hall was the fiercely contested home industries tables, a vast array of food and drink ranging from jams and preserves, to cakes, tarts and fruit liqueurs.

The most competitively fought prize was the men’s apple flan contest which saw 14 gents battle it out for the coveted crown.

Mac Stephenson, from Hurst, managed to pip the rest to post to win the title in his first year of entering.

Although he refused to give out his secret recipe he said: “I am gobsmacked. It was probably first time lucky. It is big thing but also a bit of fun. Knowing how many people actually entered my first thought was ‘no way’.”

To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War the committee chose to donate some of the proceeds to the Royal Chelsea Hospital to help its project to instal raised beds to get more residents into gardening.

Joint show secretary Frank Whittaker said: “The number of exhibits in each section is up, which is great. This is the best turnout I have seen in five or six years – it’s brilliant.”

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