Another successful year for the Horticulture and Home Industries section of Antrim Show and though the weather was showery and cooler than what we have experienced recently, the Home Industries marquee never emptied all day.
No wonder, as the display was fantastic and well worth taking the time to admire.
Walking around the marquee your eye was immediately caught by the array of colour on offer from all of the Floral Art classes, it was well supported by the Antrim Floral Art group and sponsored this year by Flowery Potters a new business in Antrim town, NIGFAS judge Barbara McGarry was very impressed.
Mary Knox from Broughshane WI got the Best overall exhibit but there are rising stars in the YFC and children’s classes that showed potential.
As usual there was a bit of friendly rivalry at the bottom end of the marquee in the Horticulture section Kate Mark, Rita O’Lynn and J & D Crawford dominated the Flower and Pot Plant classes but Rita came out on top winning the R J Wilson Memorial Cup.
It was the men though that dominated the score sheet for the Vegetable classes and not just those with a few more years’ gardening experience, as young Stephen McConnell featured heavily and walked away with the coveted Kinney Rose Bowl.
That being said he needs to work on those potatoes to beat Jim McKay. Kate Mark was back on the scene for the Fruit section gaining marks in every class notching up the points for Myroe WI.
The increased age limit for Junior Horticulture Section to 16 resulted in some previous exhibitors returning and others being able to continue.
Some cracking exhibits in the vegetable classes came from Catherine Minford of Lylehill YFC and James McComb with the Best Exhibit going to Catherine’s Broad Beans. Zara Robson had the Best Exhibit amongst the flowers but Paul Millar had the most points.
The WI ladies supported the preserves section well with Ivan Morrow and David Fullerton the only two boys brave enough to give them a run for their money.
Pollyanna Giftware sponsored the section this year again and the £20 voucher went to Jean Graham from Ahoghill WI who received first, after first.
A new Honey section had been introduced this year and despite it being early in the season but judge Jim Fletcher was impressed with the quality of the entries. Walter McNeill won all classes.
There was an increased entry for the Wine section with the Crawford family, MTA Wilson and Graham Seymour all producing some lively wines.
In the Egg section Ryan Rea finally gave up trying to beat Jessica Warwick to the Jim Crawford Shield and joined as a steward, a good addition to the team. Of course, Jessica walked away with the top prize but William Adair should not give up yet.
New sponsor Calor Gas should be well impressed by the quality of the exhibits coming from a range of age groups. As always Joan Wallace Templepatrick WI was hard to beat for the James Baird Memorial Cup but strong competition did come from Margaret Pearson of Randalstown WI.
For the Young Farmers AIB Perpetual Cup it was the Holestone girls Laura Patterson and Anna Hall who lead the race with Anna shining through for the cup and coming second overall the Baking exhibitors. Once again Neills Flour provided busy bakers with complimentary bags of flour at home time. Young Farmers dominated the Novelty Cake class and Sarah Thompson walked away with a £10 voucher for B Craig Giftware for her efforts.
The Craft and Work section were full to over flowing this year with over 120 exhibits large and small on display. The time, patience and skill involved ready does need to be admired. Kate McAllister done best overall in the Craft section with May Small cleaning up in the Work section winning the JL Clarke Perp. Cup, the Windermere Perp. Challenge Cup and the £20 voucher from The Factory Craft Shop.
The theme of ‘Three Blind Mice’ which ran through the YFC and Children’s sections this year brought some creative creations to the table and the Upcycled items from Haybob Tines to breakfast cereal boxes showed plenty of imagination.
New sponsor, Stephen Caldwell Photography funded the Photography Section and judges Ivan & Sharon Morrow had a difficult task. Sandra Adams Broughshane WI took the Best in Section title but Sara McComb had the most points overall.
The 8 – 12 age group had a big photograph entry but it was dominated by Daniel Connor and Lucy Gabbey. The Scary Monster Eggs were great in both children’s age groups and the ‘Wee Buns were great. Rachael McConnell edged ahead in the over 8s and Claire Sufferin and Ellen Fullerton shared the limelight in the 8 and under section.
Antrim, Loanends, Creavery and Portglenone Primary Schools all took the time out of their summer break to enter the School Art Class. All four made a delightful display with so much on show from all their pupils. It was a hard task for Tamara Fraser to pick a winner but the School Cup was returned to Antrim Primary for the second year running together with £40 of Tesco Vouchers.
£50 worth of Vouchers from main sponsor Tesco, are also heading to Myroe WI for being the WI with the most points overall, Broughshane was a close second and to Holestone YFC for being the YFC with most points overall, the runner up being Lylehill YFC.
Finally, thanks are offered to everyone whether you are a sponsor, a steward, a judge, an exhibitor or a visitor.
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