First published in Village News, 2015
After a memorable 60th anniversary celebration in glorious sunshine last year, the 2015 West End Summer Show had a lot to live up to. On the day the weather was the only let-down as our historic show entered it’s seventh decade in impressive, if slightly damp, style.
It was a great year for the traditions that have always been at the heart of the show, shown by an overall uplift in entries for the Fruit and Vegetable, Flower and other competitions in the marquee (745 entries in total), and the second highest number in the past five years. The judges were impressed by the standard of entries, and the marquee was packed with visitors.
The competition was certainly tough, with Bob Waller and Irene Hobbs dominating the Fruit and Vegetable, Flower and Floral Art Sections. While Bob Waller won the most cups, including the RHS Banksin Medal, Irene Hobbs gained more points from her exhibits to win the President’s Perpetual Challenge Cup for the highest show in all classes. Congratulations to them both. West End villager Lin Martin is also establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in the Flower Sections, while Lynn Healy dominated the Handicraft Section for the second year running. Another villager Liz Sandison scored most points in the Photography Section. One particularly notable result was 12 year-old Jacob Cooper’s victory in the MacKinnon Cup for Best Men’s Dessert. The more mature men of West End will have to up their game for next year if they hope to take back the prize from this junior Masterchef.
Beyond the marquee, there was all the traditional fun of the fair including the ever-popular Smash-a-Plate stall (perfect for stress relief), alongside newcomers such as the bungee trampolines for those seeking an adrenalin fix. Stalls of all kinds filled the village green and kept visitors fed, watered and entertained all afternoon.
Among other highlights were the Dog Show, which returned this year with some very talented four-legged friends, and the Children’s Sports Competition. The children taking part showed an impressively grown-up mix of friendly sportsmanship alongside a strong competitive spirit. The musical accompaniment to the day came in the form of the wonderful Epsom & Ewell Silver Band, and Matto the Clown and Punch & Judy put smiles on everyone’s faces.
As the day drew to a close with the raffle and auction, it was agreed the Tug O’War would have to be cancelled as the ground was too wet, so West End’s strongmen have got plenty of time to train for next year’s, if they’re not too busy perfecting their desserts.
The show’s organising committee would like to say a huge Thank You to everyone in the village (and beyond) who contributed to the show’s success, whether by entering exhibits, subscribing, pitching in to help set up or simply by joining in the fun. This enthusiasm not only resulted in a show that was homely and friendly as well as impressive, it’s the reason the show is possible year on year at all; so with the help of everyone in West End, here’s to the start of another decade (and some slightly better weather next time, please).