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The show grows on . . .

PUBLISHED: 21:00 24 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Flower Show just keeps on growing.

Geraniums and sweet peas were among the colourful exhibits at the show's new venue in Otley College.

Hundreds of people across Suffolk supported the two-day event which has been running for more than 170 years.

IPSWICH Flower Show just keeps on growing.

Geraniums and sweet peas were among the colourful exhibits at the show's new venue in Otley College.

Hundreds of people across Suffolk supported the two-day event which has been running for more than 170 years.

Visitors gave the thumbs up to the new venue where trade stands, machinery, vegetables, almost every type of geranium, plus other plants were among the attractions.

Show organiser, Bernard Evans, was pleased with its continued popularity after it attracted 1,245 visitors over the two days. "We even had a dozen people arrive three hours before opening time and the queues have been building up," he said.

"The show used to be held in one big cattle shed at Suffolk Showground but now there is not just one room, but several rooms and 17 trade stands including a chance for people to see the latest machinery. I think it is bigger than last year."

The show was spread over two floors of the college and outside and included a variety of trade stands, such as pot plants, watercolours, jewellery, linen wear and machinery.

Cut flowers, geraniums, sweet peas and a variety of different vegetables were among the exhibits.

It was feared the historic event would draw to a close last year after organisers said they couldn't continue because it wasn't breaking even.

But Otley College saved the day offering to stage the event during its open weekend.

It involved ten months of preparation and Mr Evans, chairman of the Ipswich Geranium Society, is hoping the show will go on.

"I suppose everybody last year was a bit downhearted to think that it was the last one. But if the public support us the helpers said they would do it again next year."

Dave Bryant, 67, who came all the way from Beccles for the show, said: "It is the first time I have been to the Ipswich Flower Show and it is wonderful. I am really impressed.

"The quality is superb and everyone is very friendly. There is a lovely atmosphere here. I also like the setting."

Retired Mr Bryant, a member of the national sweet pea society, won two firsts, a second and one third for his exhibits.

Visitor Elsie Murrell, from Claydon, 78, who came to the show for the first time with two friends, said: "I have seen the flower arrangements and the geraniums. I have enjoyed it."

Ipswich Mayor Richard Risebrow visited the show on Sunday when visitors also enjoyed music from Deben High School Band.

The show was held in Christchurch Park until 1996 when the venue changed to the Suffolk Showground until this year when it was held at Otley College.

The prize for the best exhibit in the whole show was given to Peter Fisk of Great Barton for his box of vegetables.

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