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Showcasing u3a at Southport Flower Show: The day itself

29 August 2023

Jim from Southport u3a talks about their return to Southport Flower Show and the many members and public figures they met and spoke to about u3a. Read about the build up and planning process for Southport u3a's involvement with the Flower Show.Five women, wearing u3a tshirts sashes and lanyards, inside a marquee. They are inside a large white structure and standing around a table which has a white table cloth and a white cake that says u3a on it.

This year at the Southport Flower Show, Southport u3a Gardening Group’s decided to have a rest and move inside and take a smaller stand in the “Societies Marquee”.

However, this didn’t prevent them showing their usual imagination. A large Ironwork Gazebo was adorned with flowers and furniture, to create a magnificent centrepiece. In fact, it was so good, we won a silver medal for our efforts.

photoshop southport u3a flower show 2023 garden compAnd, of course, all the designs in our “u3a Design a Garden” competition were displayed prominently in front of the stand. The brief was to design a 6mx6m show garden to be environmentally friendly and with no budgetary restrictions. The judging was done by eminent gardener, Carolyn Harden, who herself has won a variety of prizes for her show gardens. The prize was two VIP tickets to next year’s 100th Anniversary Show and a coveted u3a Engraved Watering Can.

One woman is handing another a watering can that says 'Garden Competition 2023 winner'. Behind them is a display board showing garden designs.

It was won by Southport u3a member Pauline, who designed a Tranquil Garden in lilacs and white - she was presented with her prize at the show by Carolyn. The winning entry and all the finalist’s designs were displayed on the stand.

With u3a members around the country being able to acquire tickets at a special u3a discounted price, well over 500 u3a members from all over the country visited the show, from u3a’s in Wirral, Formby, Macclesfield, Oswestry, Maghull, Up Holland, Kendal, Crosby, Preston, Holmes Chapel, Todmorden, Anglesey, Oldham, Aintree, Chester and many more.

It was great to have conversations and exchange views with so many of our fellow members.

A drag queen wearing a black and white floral skirt suit and a blue u3a sash standing next to a show garden inside a marquee

And we even had a visit from Daisy Desire, The TV Drag Queen Gardener, flashing a fabulous pair of legs - and who donned a u3a sash in our honour!

A gorup of people, many wearing u3a lanyards, standing in a tent and smiling. The middle man is chef John Torode.

And not only were we busy on our own stand, u3a members were also active in the Cookery Theatre.

Three women and a man wearing chef trousers smiling 32 of our members provided all the volunteers throughout the show for front of house, and in the kitchen, helping the celebrity chefs, Phil Vickery, John Torode and a host of others from Master Chef to create their masterpieces for the audience - and cleaning up the debris they created in the process.
While all this was going on the Southport u3a Choir, and the Yooks Ukulele Group were entertaining the visitors on the Bandstand.

We certainly got about and made a name for ourselves again at The Southport Flower Show. Roll on next years’ 100th Anniversary Show.

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