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Adrian Fox taking video scenes at the opening Also in the picture are Chris Shaw and Jan Butler.

This month's exhibition focussed on an event dear to the hearts of local residents: the Emsworth Show. The display cases in the Rudkin Room held a gleaming selection of the many cups, shields, plates, medals and rosettes awarded to its exhibitors. Then a series of ten wall panels chronicled its development from the 1920s to the present day. The Emsworth Gardens and Allotments Society was formed in 1919; the first two panels described its early years and first Shows, with a map of their sites in several different locations in and around Emsworth from the Twenties up to 1973. Then other panels took us through the growth of the Show, decade by decade. 

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At first the Show was all about the plants. Then in the 1950s sideshows and attractions were included. In 1978 they added a Dog Show, and in the 1980s the Flying Tigers gave a parachute-jumping display. In 1994, celebrating its 75th year, it was billed as "The Biggest Little Show in the South"! One common theme throughout the years: Rain, rain and more rain. But it definitely did not stop play!

One factor which might stop play in the future is that there are never enough people to help with the preparation and running of the Show. The exhibition's final panel was a plea for volunteers to help with this year's Show.


Pictures John Tweddell