Ipswich Flower Show saved
PUBLISHED: 15:15 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010
IPSWICH Flower Show has been saved from the threat of closure, and is set to bloom again - at a new venue.
The historic event has been running for 173 years under various names, and was once dubbed the East of England Flower Show.
IPSWICH Flower Show has been saved from the threat of closure, and is set to bloom again – at a new venue.
The historic event has been running for 173 years under various names, and was once dubbed the East of England Flower Show. It attracted crowds of 5,500 people in its 1980s heyday.
Sadly, though, it was announced this year's floral spectacular at the Suffolk Showground would be the last, after only 2,000 paying visitors turned up to admire the displays.
Organisers said they could not carry on – but now Otley College has stepped in and offered to stage the event in June 2002, though in a reduced form.
Principal John Pearson offered the college facilities, free of charge, when he heard the Ipswich Flower Show committee had decided not to organise a show for 2002, as the event was no longer breaking even.
The show will be staged as part of an Otley College open weekend on June 22 and 23 next year.
"The open days have been very popular over recent years and this would be an added feature," said Mr Pearson.
"The Ipswich Flower Show has a long history and we will do all we can to keep it alive."
Bernard Revans, a member of the recently disbanded Ipswich Flower Show committee and chairman of Ipswich and District Geranium Society, has been working hard to save the event.
He said: "There is definitely going to be a flower show – it will just be smaller and slightly different.
"The Geranium Society is definitely taking part and we are looking for one or two people to help run other sections.
"I hope there will be a floral arrangements section at the show and I am hopeful that other sections, like cut flowers, fruit and vegetables, sweet peas and pot plants, that have been present at the Ipswich Flower Show in the past, will be part of the new show."
Mr Revans said he thought Otley College would be a good venue for the event.
"They have staged flower shows before. I have been round the venue and there is no problem in staging a show there. It will be in several halls instead of one, but it will be just as good."
He added: "We have received good interest from a number of companies linked with the gardening trade and four have already booked stand space."
Anybody interested in helping to organise the show, or traders wishing to have a stand, should contact Mr Revans, Tel: 01473 830155.