Melsonby Parish Village Show

Melsonby Parish Village Show 2015

70 Years of Growing  and Showing

The Melsonby Parish Village Show which is run by Melsonby Allotment Association, will be held on Saturday 22 August 2015 in Melsonby Methodist School.  We believe that the Show, (originally named the ‘Garden Produce Show’) has been staged since 1945.  The Show continues to be a significant event in the village’s community calendar.

The Show gives the opportunity for members of Melsonby Allotment Association, pupils of Melsonby School and all other Melsonby residents, to demonstrate their horticultural, culinary and creative skills. Historically, exhibition of vegetables has always been the mainstay of The Show. This tradition continues to date. Other classes also continue to reflect traditional skills. New interests, such as photography, ensure that that there are ongoing challenges for all ages and skill capabilities. A large range of cups and shields are presented for the best exhibits.

So much for the serious stuff. Even if you decide not to exhibit in 2015, please come along and support our Village Show. You are promised a fun afternoon. In addition to perusing your friends’ and neighbours’ prize exhibits, there is the opportunity to obtain lots of lovely fresh veggies and homemade produce for your family’s delectation. Always a highlight of the afternoon, and not to be missed, is an auction of produce under the hammer of the irrepressible Mr Vince ‘Who Will Give Me More?’ Elrington.



You do not need to be an expert gardener to exhibit vegetables in the show. OK, so there are a few gardeners who seem to get it right most years, but pestilence and the elements have a habit of stumping even the most experienced of veggie growers. Timing and Lady Luck also have a big part to play. It’s always worth exhibiting whatever the size and quality of the vegetables you have grown. It’s just a 15 p gamble, (the entry fee), for a chance to win that ‘elusive red card’. No need to fear that you may be laughed at. Be assured, any entry will be very much appreciated. You may be pleasantly surprised. Your exhibit may just happen to be the best on the day of the show. If you decide to have a go, you may be asking yourself:

  • Which varieties should I grow?
  • Which veggies should I select for the show bench?
  • How should I stage my exhibits?

The answer to these questions can be found in gardening books and magazines and from the websites listed below. Better still, talk to someone who has experience of showing vegetables. If you are not sure who to ask, a member of the show committee will direct you to someone ‘in the know’. Of course it’s also useful to know what the judge will be looking for. Exhibits will be judged in accordance with the guidelines of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The RHS guidelines state that in assessing the merits of exhibits of vegetables the following features should usually be considered: Condition; Colour; Size; Uniformity. Condition: Cleanliness, freshness, tenderness and presence or absence of coarseness and blemishes. Colour: This should reflect freshness, trueness to cultivar and maturity. Size: This is meritorious if accompanied by quality (but only in those circumstances) as the production of large specimens of good quality requires more skill than the production of small specimens. (In other words, big is not necessarily best!). Uniformity: The state of being alike in size, shape and colour.

Vegetable and Fruit Classes for 2015 are:

  • 5 Potatoes, round
  • 5 Potatoes, kidney
  • 2 Leeks, pot. No more than 6” to the button.
  • 2 Leeks, trench. To be 9” to the button or over.
  • 3 Onions from set. Dressed
  • 3 Onions from seed. Dressed
  • 6 Shallots, red
  • 6 Shallots, other than red
  • 2 Parsnips
  • 2 Carrots, long
  • 2 Carrots, stump rooted
  • 2 Beetroot, globe
  • 6 Pod Peas
  • 6 Broad Beans
  • 6 French Beans
  • 6 Runner Beans
  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 1 Cabbage, pointed. Dressed
  • 1 Cabbage, round. Dressed
  • 2 Turnips. Yellow or white
  • 2 Swedes
  • 2 Celery, any variety
  • 2 Lettuce, cabbage
  • 5 Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Marrow, any variety
  • Collection of vegetables, 2 each of 4 distinct varieties from classes above
  • Collection of salad vegetables/saladings, no less than 4 distinct varieties
  • 1 Vegetable and 1 Flower. Varieties – exhibitor’s choice.
  • A plate of 1 variety OR A collection of mixed distinct varieties
  • Collection of organically grown produce, no less than 4 distinct varieties

Some more definitions and terminology:

Collection: Certain vegetables and fruit are more difficult to grow than others, and the judge will give merit for this. For example, a collection of vegetables which includes cauliflower, celery, long parsnips and long carrots will gain more merit than one which includes beetroot, cabbage, marrow and lettuce.

Saladings or salad vegetable: ‘A salad vegetable used in either a raw or cooked state and served in salads as a cold dish’. For example: beetroot; cabbages; carrots; celeriac; celery, chicory; chives; corn salad or lambs lettuce; cress; cucumbers; dandelion (blanched); endive; florence fennel kohlrabi; lettuces; mustard or rape; onions (green salad) oriental brassicas; potatoes; radishes; sweet peppers; tomatoes; turnips; watercress.

Organic : For the purpose of Melsonby Show, this means that the soil and plants are not treated with synthetic commercial fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides during the current growing season.

Finally, you don’t have to be an allotment holder to grow veggies. They can be grown in a small space within your own garden or in containers. You’re all familiar with grow bags, which as well as tomatoes can be used for growing salad vegetables. Consider up-cycling large plastic boxes for stump rooted carrots, beetroot or turnips or old dustbins for long carrots and parsnips.


This section is for those of you who enjoy growing flowers. All flowers exhibited in this section must be grown in Melsonby. Classes for 2015 are:

  • 3 Dahlias, any variety
  • 3 Chrysanthemums, any variety
  • 3 Gladioli
  • Garden Stock, 3 spikes
  • Sweet Peas. Any number of spikes. Any container
  • Any variety. Any container
  • Mixed Flowers, no less than 4 varieties. Any container
  • 1 Sunflower head. Merit will be given for size
  • Pot grown Geranium, Pelargonium or Begonia

Exhibits will be judged in accordance with RHS guidelines, ie merit given for condition and uniformity as described below:

Condition: The exhibit should be ‘in the most perfect stage of its possible beauty and be fresh and free from damage due to weather, pests and diseases, faulty handling or other cause’.

Uniformity: An exhibit is ‘uniform’ when items of which it consists are alike in age, size and form.

Staging: With the exception of the class for Mixed Flowers, no points are given for ‘arrangement’. However, an exhibit that is arranged in such a way as to display the merits of the flowers or plant to best advantage will make a more favourable impression on the judge. With regard to the class for Mixed Flowers, some merit will be given for ‘symmetry and balance’ of the exhibit. The inclusion of foliage other than from the flower being exhibited is not permitted in any class.

There is a National Dahlia Society. There are similar national societies for the chrysanthemum, gladioli, sweet pea, rose and pelargonium/geranium. You do not need to be a member of a society to access these websites, which offer a wealth of information and advice.


This class is to challenge the skills of those of you who are more interested in flower arranging and floristry rather than actually growing flowers. Classes for 2015 are:

  • Floral arrangement. Design – exhibitors choice
  • Floral arrangement using footwear as container(s).
  • Arrangement in an egg cup
  • Bowl of floating flowers
  • Buttonhole for a Groom

For each of these classes the exhibitor may make use of flower/foliage material that hasnot been grown in Melsonby.  Shop bought material is permitted. Have a look at ‘You Tube’ for tutorials on how to make a buttonhole. A few of many other useful websites are:


Classes for 2015 are:

  • Chutney/Pickles, 1 jar labelled with type
  • Jam/Marmalade/Curd,  1 jar labelled with type
  • Sweet Pastry Tart.  Eg; Fruit filled; Bakewell; Treacle
  • Savoury Quiche
  • 4 Biscuits or Cookies
  • 4 Fruit Scones
  • 4 Cheese Scones
  • 1 Loaf Cake, any sort.  Eg:  Dried Fruit; Lemon Drizzle; Banana
  • 4 Vanilla Cupcakes, decorated
  • Traditional Victoria Sponge, max 20cm, split and filled with jam.


  • Painting or drawing. Any medium.
  • Greetings card. Any medium. Theme –Easter.
  • Art or craft item made from a kit. Any medium.
  • An item for use or display in the home or garden, practical or decorative. Any medium, but please note that merit will be given for design skills and originality. (No kits please).
  • Any item made largely from recycled materials.

Now’s the chance to finish those half-finished projects that have been lurking in the dark recesses of your cupboard and tugging at your conscience to complete. If you are starting from scratch, no need to spend lots of money. Unopened kits can often be picked up from charity shops. Get ideas for new projects from websites, or visit the library. Here’s a few of many useful websites which may help scintillate your creative juices:


Why not exhibit your favourite pics in the Show and have the chance to win one of two Stokoe Trophies? Categories for the Photography Classes this year are:    

  • An Urban Landscape
  • People
  • Food
  • Your favourite photo from 2014/2015 with caption

Last year’s judge, Maurice Weeks of Richmond Camera Club, has given a few tips on what makes a good photograph:

  • Good composition with the main subject well placed in the frame and not dominated by the surroundings and background
  • The main subject should usually be sharply in focus. If photographing a person or animal make sure the eyes are sharp
  • Landscapes often benefit from something in the foreground to give a sense of depth and to lead the eye into the picture

There are also loads of websites such as that give free advice and example


Details of the usual classes for under 16s, ie Baking, Crafts and Photography will be announced at a later date.


Judy Bottle: 718010/

Vince Elrington: 718444/

Jayne Grebby: 718745/

Sue Lee-Stockoe: 718333/


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