The Malvern Autumn Show 2017, in association with Westons Cider Visitor Centre, welcomed over 65,000 people through the gates of the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire for a record breaking weekend. Great British Menu host Andi Oliver and everyone’s favourite laid back baker, Selasi Gbormittah headlined the Cookery Theatre whilst a bumper crop of horticultural experts shared their passion, top tips and gardening know how in the Malvern Autumn Theatre.
Diana Walton, Head of Show said: “I sold programmes at the first ever Malvern Autumn Show so to be leading my very first one as Head of Shows has been exhilarating. It is an event that is held very dear both to me and to others so I’m thrilled that the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve had unprecedented numbers of entries across all areas of the show, from the World of Animals, to the Harvest Pavilion and Grow to Show competitions as well as the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship. We’ve already got great plans for next year.”
In the Malvern Autumn Pavilion, a staggering 4 World records, 2 British records and a European record were set in the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship. Consisting of 29 categories, which this year drew a record 539 entries in total, the growers hail from the tip of Cornwall right up to the North East of England.
Judging started at 11am on Friday 22nd September in the CANNA UK Giant Vegetables Championship and the first record was set in a brand new category, the World’s Heaviest Chilli, by midday. Champion grower Ian Neale, from Newport, only held the title for ten minutes before it was snatched from his grasp by seasoned grower and best friend, Kevin Fortey from Cwmbran. His whopping chilli weighed in at 348g, almost the same weight as a can of soup. Ian’s efforts didn’t prove ‘fruitless’ however, as he went on to set the first ever record at an eye watering 401mm, in the other new category for 2017, for the World’s Longest Chilli. A titan of the giant vegetable world, Joe Atherton from Mansfield, claimed a further two records with the World’s Longest Parsnip at 6.550m and the World’s Longest Radish at 6.703m bringing his total haul to 11 World Records. Peter Glazebrook, from Nottinghamshire also set two UK records with Britain’s Heaviest Tomato (2.88kg) and Heaviest Radish (10.38kg), although the latter looked more like something from Harry Potter’s Herbology class. Peter Marston, also from Nottinghamshire surprised even himself when the cucumber that he thought he’d planted turned out to be a Trombocino squash that smashed the European record at 173cm.
The last major RHS flower show of 2017 took place at Malvern Autumn Show and welcomed award winning nurseries and growers with stunning displays of plants, shrubs and produce. 49 medals were awarded, including 19 GOLD, 15 Silver-Gilt, 11 Silver and 4 Bronze. The New Design Award went to C&K Jones for their innovative display, which also earned them their first RHS Gold Medal. The Judges present this discretionary award to the exhibitor that they feel demonstrates a new, innovative or creative way of displaying plants. Chair of Judges, Jekka McVicar said of C&K Jones’ exhibit: “It was inspirational to see such a fantastic variety of colourful roses displayed in such an eye-catching and original way.”
The coveted Best in Show title went to Medwyns of Anglesey whose display included a brand new variety of Parsnip as well as the first ever tomato registered in the Welsh Language. Y Ddraig Goch, literally translates as ‘Red Dragon’ and it joins the scores of other fruit and vegetables that have been bred by Medwyn Williams.
After its introduction in 2015, the Floral Fiesta came under the scrutiny of the RHS Judges for the first time this year. The growers were awarded four medals in total, two silver medals and two bronze medals for their displays, a fantastic result for first time exhibitors. The area is mentored and supported by celebrity florist, Jonathan Moseley with the aim of supporting British flower growers and providing a platform to demonstrate the wealth, beauty and diversity of flowers that can be grown in this country. Show visitors were invited to join interactive workshops and watch inspiring seasonal demonstrations and it proved to be an incredibly popular area of the show.
The Floral Art stars were Mrs Celia Davies who was awarded Best In Show, with Reserve Best In Show going to Mrs Pamela Lewis. Best Use of Colour and Best Use of Foliage both went to Mrs Margaret Thomas.
Next year’s Malvern Autumn Show will take place on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September 2018. For information, please visit www.malvernautumn.co.uk or call 01684 584924.