Gardeners showcase their efforts at Wokingham Horticultural Association winter show

Green-fingered members of Wokingham Horticultural Association have enjoyed two fantastic events within the same week.

This month’s talk on First Aid for Gardeners was held at the Bradbury Centre on Tuesday, November 13.  

Trainer Elizabeth Davidson gave an action-packed presentation and instilled confidence in the audience of what to do in an emergency situation until help arrives.  

Elizabeth demonstrated how to use defibrillators, give CPR and put a casualty in the recovery position as well as how to deal with embedded foreign bodies and bleeding wounds.  

Many of the audience planned to check their first aid kits to ensure they were properly prepared for the unexpected.

Last Saturday saw the Association stage the final seasonal show of the year at St Paul’s Parish Rooms.  

With more than 100 visitors to the Winter Show, with nearly 300 excellent exhibits from all age groups.

There was certainly a flavour of Christmas with classes such as Christmas cards, door and table decorations.

Young Exhibitors aged eight and under had used their imagination to create Christmas decorations from pine cones.

Jessica Light, who had created a group of reindeer, was awarded the Southfield School Winter Cup for the best exhibit in the Young Exhibitors’ Section.

In the Vegetable Section, four massive pumpkins arrived, and at 145cm circumference Nigel Booth was pronounced the winner.  

In the Young Exhibitor Section a pumpkin grown by the Dolphin School Gardening Club weighed in at 220 kg.

Among the exhibitors, WHA were pleased to see old faces, and to welcome new exhibitors to the Show.  New exhibitor Doreen Hogston gained the most points in the Flower Arrangement classes with four delightful arrangements and was cup winner.  

The Handicraft judge had a difficult task on hand when judging the six magnificent entries in the Christmas door decoration class.  

First prize was shared by two new exhibitors – Kate Richards for her rainbow painted wreath made from recycled plastic bottles and Gill Kaiser for her delicately crafted patchwork door hanging.  

Laure Porter, another new exhibitor, won the Orange Spice cake against competition from seven other cakes made to the same recipe.

There was keen competition in the gentleman only class, Nigel Booth claiming first prize for his carrot and sultana cake.

Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser praised WHA members for their strength in the community and looked to the future with many more residents moving into the town.   He took pleasure in presenting the cups and certificates to the winners.

Rob Stanton took on the role of auctioneer, raising funds for the Association from the sale of donated items from the show benches, and Mayoress Gill Kaiser drew the raffle tickets to round off a very enjoyable afternoon.

WHA is very grateful to Graham Breadmore of the Wokingham and East Berks Camera Club for taking photos at the show, and these can be seen on the WHA website (

WHA members meet again in December for their Christmas Social and the next talk, which is open to non-members (£3 to include tea or coffee and a biscuit) will be held at 7.45pm on Tuesday 8th January at the Bradbury Centre.  Mark Dodd, Head of Gardens at Wellington College, will give an illustrated talk about his work on the Estate and grounds of the College.

Pauline MacBrayne

Winter show cups

Piggott Cup – most points in Vegetable Section: Graham Talbot

Sarnia Trophy – most points in Flower Section: Nina Prestom

Goodchild Cup – most points in Domestic Section: Mary Gillan and Cheryl Cook

Iris Lush Cup Class 27, Winter Store Cupboard: Gwyneth Rowlands

Flannigan Cup – most points in Handicraft Section: Elizabeth Draper

Knowles Cup – best exhibit in Flower Arrangement Section: Doreen Hogston

Southfield School Winter Cup – best exhibit in Young Exhibitors’ Section: Jessica Light



Margaret Finch’s Onions

Loddon Cup – most first prizes: Bill Howarth

Catherine S Banker Trophy – most points in Pot Plant Classes: Bill Howarth

Staniland Jug – most points in Flower Sections: Bill Howarth

Bennett Cup – most points in Domestic Sections: Cheryl Cook

R& J Smith  – most Points in Flower Arrangement Sections: Alice Fisher

Michael Bowyer Trophy – most points in Young Exhibitor’s sections: Amelia Lawrence-Perry

Diana Chandler Cup – most points in Handicraft Section: Elizabeth Draper

Terry Davies Cup – most points in Vegetable and Flower Sections: Bill Howarth

Gwen M Hardwidge Cup – most points in Photography Section: Cheryl Cook and Brian Chinneck

Sid Hatcher Cup, Most points in Gentlemen Only Section: Nigel Booth

Certificates of merit:

Robin’s Perch by Pauline MacBrayne

A flowering pot plant: Sue Davies

Cabbages: Graham Talbot

Orange Spice: Mary Gillan

Cake: Doreen Hogston

Robin’s Perch, flower arrangement: Pauline MacBrayne

Yuletide, flower arrangement: Doreen Hogston

Visitors’ Choice: Pauline MacBrayne, Robin’s Perch, flower arrangement


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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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