Last year, the BADS-BKA Honey Show was an all-day event on Saturday, 19th November. The 2016 Honey Show took place at a new venue, St Catherine’s Hill Hall in Christchurch and for the first time, the show was open to the public.
If this was not the best Honey Show ever, it came very close. The previous attempt to open to the public was some years ago at Ferndown and apparently about five people turned up. We did not count the number on Saturday but at times it was so busy that you could hardly get around the room.
The preparation started months ago under the careful management of Honey Lovell, assisted by her husband, Graham. The venue was chosen by Honey, arranged and paid for, and then the work of notifying all the members, encouraging them to put in exhibits and undertaking all the paperwork began. And on the day all the clerical work to log in the exhibits and prizes won where Rachel Stevens assisted.
The weather was not good, but the volunteers had the benches ready in time and members began to arrive to put out their exhibits. We did make the one hundred exhibits target and so gained the BBKA Blue Ribbon, but we do need more exhibitors; more members to come forward. Next year an appeal will go out for every member to put in at least one item. It does not have to be honey, there are lots of other classes as well, and more members exhibiting will mean more members engaged.
The judging was by Margaret Davies, (and how fortunate are we to have a judge of international standing as a member?) more than ably assisted by John Bunting. This was between 12 noon and two o’clock at which time the doors opened to the public, and there was a steady stream of visitors all afternoon. The visitors were young, old and quite a few parents with children and everyone seemed happy to be there. Lots of questions were asked, there were questions about honey, joining, training and what, as bee-keepers, we actually did. Alison Chopping and Deb Eklund sold tea, coffee and scones, Jean McLucas kept all supplied from the kitchen and David and Alla Neal manned (personed?) the sales stall.
Winners were announced and called up, cups and trophies were awarded (they were kept back to have the winner’s name engraved on them and will be ready for the 6th December meeting) and it was a happy occasion with the members of the public joining in the applause.
By 4.00pm it was winding down, exhibits collected, congratulations or commiserations exchanged and the Hall was cleared away.
Overall it was a resounding success and Honey Lovell produced the best BADS Honey Show that I have ever attended. Honey was first to thank all her helpers, but it was her organisational skills that made everything work; so thank you very much to Honey and Graham and to all the helpers.