Sid Valley Gardening Show will fold without volunteer support

PUBLISHED: 11:16 12 July 2016

Visitors look over the hundreds of exhibits at the Sid Valley Horticultural Show on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 2186-32-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Visitors look over the hundreds of exhibits at the Sid Valley Horticultural Show on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 2186-32-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

Popular 88-year-old event is ‘victim of its own success’

Sid Valley Horticultural Sociey chairman Maureen Britton, left and Beryl Kingman (secetary) at last year's garden show. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 0481-33-10TISid Valley Horticultural Sociey chairman Maureen Britton, left and Beryl Kingman (secetary) at last year's garden show. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 0481-33-10TI

Organisers of The Sid Valley Gardening Show have warned it will fold after almost nine decades, if new volunteers do not step forward to save it.

The ever-popular community event is now in its 88th year, but has become a ‘victim of its own success’ and the small team of current committee members say they cannot carry on running it by themselves.

They are appealing for at least four volunteers to take over the reins and safeguard the future of the show in Sidford Sports Field - or it will be ‘yet another thing’ the village loses.

Chair and treasurer of the Sid Valley Horticultural Society Maureen Britton said: “Over the years, the show has grown tremendously from less than 200 entries when we first took it over, to more than 900 entries. We have been victims of our own success because as we have grown so big there is a lot of work to do. We were hoping to take it through to the 90th show, but there is just too much to do.”

She explained some team members have suffered ill health and none of them can continue to do the brunt of the work.

Secretary Beryl Kingman has been on the committee for 13 years – while Maureen and her husband Nick have been involved for 15 years - and she said it really needs people with fresh ideas who can take it on.

Colin Kingman also helps with organisation and said: “We do not want to see the show close, but we cannot carry on.

“We would not leave people in the lurch; we would help and assist them for a year or two. This is going to be another thing Sidford would lose otherwise.”

Maureen said it would be a great shame if the show does not continue because it draws in a wide cross-section of the community each year, from pre-school children to people in their 90s.

The society gets a ‘tremendous amount’ of support from organisations and businesses, including Sidford Women’s Institute, the social hall committee and Otter Nurseries and is also in a healthy financial state. Anyone who would like to volunteer or ask for further information can contact Maureen on 01395 512570 or Beryl on 01395 579725.


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