Cotherstone show attracts a bumper crop of new exhibitors
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
LOCKDOWNS have sparked renewed interest in gardening and baking, according to organisers of Cotherstone Show – leading to a bumper crop of entries in this year’s event. The show, which was held at the village hall on Saturday for the first time in two years, has blossomed and featured exhibit tables laden with produce, baked goods, preserves, flowers, photography and artwork.
Pippa Leech, secretary, said: “There’s a marked increase in the entries in the home baking and vegetable sections with new exhibitors, which is wonderful.
“I think people have discovered gardening and baking during lockdown.
“It’s my first time organising the show and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, but I couldn’t have done it without the help from Elizabeth Cowell and Jenny Watson.”
More than 500 entries were spread across 108 classes which saw a few new additions to the schedule, including one for first time vegetable exhibitors.
“We’re always looking to encourage new exhibitors. We added new classes in the bread, which has been really popular,” added Ms Leech.
“Honey was also a new section and there must be some bee keepers lurking about.
“It’s been nice to see so many new exhibitors in all the sections, but especially the vegetable section and the judges have been very impressed with the baking and home produce sections.”
Topping the points table and tally of trophies won was Michael Hedley. He picked up a total of 11 trophies for his collection of vegetables, onions, kidney potatoes, gladioli, dahlias and tomatoes as well as the shield and plate for most points in section one and two.
The heaviest marrow class was won by heavy-weight grower Richard Hunter with his mighty 8.5lb marrow. Mr Hunter also tasted success with this green peas, sweet peas, asters, chrysanthemums and runner beans winning trophies for each.
Claire Williams impressed judges in the home baking section with trophies for her fruit scones and swiss roll, also securing the Nancy Pleasants Trophy for most points in section three.
Helen Johnstone was awarded the ladies cup for her chocolate cake and also won the Dorothy and Allen Christon vase for the best marmalade.
Peter Ditchburn won the gentleman’s cup for his loaf of bread. Jenny Watson was awarded the top spot for her beetroot with Judith Brown picking up a rose bowl for her single rose.
Mike and Amanda Sharp won the Mrs EM Thomas Cup for the best table centre piece flower arrangement.
In the photography section, Alison Lamb took home a bevy of trophies, picking up most points in section four and five and the Teesdale Cup for photography on the wing.
Douglas May was awarded the Cotherstone Plate for the best historical Cotherstone class and Marcus Parr became the first winner of the Robert Johnstone Memorial Trophy for his wildlife wonders photos.
He also won the Weatherby House Bowl for the best exhibit in section five.
Four-year-old Brandon was awarded the secretary’s cup for the best exhibit in section six with his poem Nature on our Doorstep.
Harry Green, Kitty Goldsborough, Aria Hedley and Evie Tarn were also cup winners in the children’s classes.
Ms Leech added: “I’m really looking forward to next year’s show already.”