New blood means Sid Valley Gardening and Craft Show will continue into 89th year

Left to right: Colin Kingman, Beryl Kingman, James Hewitt, Sue Hewitt, Nick Britton and Maureen Brit

Left to right: Colin Kingman, Beryl Kingman, James Hewitt, Sue Hewitt, Nick Britton and Maureen Britton - Credit: Archant

Volunteers step in to save popular tradition

The Sid Valley Gardening and Craft Show will go on into its 89th year after volunteers stepped forward at the final hour to safeguard its future.

The popular tradition has been going strong for almost nine decades, but was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. Organisers warned this summer that the event would fold unless they received the help they badly needed. Appealing in the Herald, chairman and treasurer of the Sid Valley Horticultural Society Maureen Britton explained how the show has grown from 200 entries to more than 900 over the years. She said fresh blood was desperately needed to take it on.

Susan Hewitt has volunteered to take over Maureen’s role as she and her husband, James, who are both keen exhibitors, had feared the show could be lost for ever if they did not act.

Susan said: “We were just keen that it should carry on. It seemed such a shame that it should close.

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“Our plans for next year are to carry on exactly the same as it’s been in the past - and then we can tweak it as we go.”

Maureen and her husband Nick have been involved with the show for 15 years and, alongside Beryl and Colin Kingman, have taken responsibility for organising it in recent years. Ill health and an ever-growing schedule prompted their appeal for help. Maureen said: “It’s been part of Sidford’s tradition for the past 88 years with just a break during the war years.

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“I’m absolutely thrilled that it will carry on, because it’s been our baby for the past four years, but four people cannot keep going for much longer without help.”

She added that the show is quite special as one of the last of the traditional, smaller gardening and craft shows and said she has received a very positive response to the news it will not have to fold.

Show secretary Beryl added a huge thanks everyone on the committee for their help and support over the years.

Joy Golding is set to take over as the new secretary and Mary Lockwood has stepped in as a new committee member.

The next show will be held at Sidford’s sports field on Saturday, August 19, 2017.

Organisers are appealing for any Sid Valley businesses that might be prepared to stock schedules, or take in entries, to get in touch by calling Susan on 01395 515736.

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