East Hoathly and Halland Village Show Society


This Handbook section of the website aims to give you all the information on how our Shows run and helpful tips on how to stage your entries.


The first part of the process is to plan your entries.  Read through the Schedule of Classes and order seeds or start planning that piece of creative craft.  Enter the Show by completing an entry form which are shown at the end of the Schedule or at the back of printed Handbooks. Email the form or send a printed form to the Show Secretary by the Wednesday before each Show.  The Show day starts at 8.30 am when you bring your produce to the Village Hall and “Stage” the entries.  You collect (at the entrance to the Village Hall) an entry card for each Class you have entered.  Each Class will have a numbered table and you place your entry on the plate or in the vase provided.  If you need to arrange your produce, particularly flowers, do it at the ‘staging table’ to the side so that you do not dirty the exhibit space or spoil other peoples exhibits which have already been staged.  You place your entry card for that Class, face down at the base of your entry.  The judges will use this card to note any comments about your exhibit and award prizes!  If you know the name of the particular variety of your exhibit you are encouraged to write this on a card and display it alongside your exhibit.  You must then clear the hall by 10.30 am for the judging to commence.  The hall reopens at 1.30 pm for anyone to come and view the exhibits.  At 3.30 pm the Awards will be made, Raffle Drawn and any exhibits not removed will be auctioned off.  The procedure for Rose and Sweet Pea Shows is slightly different as they take place in conjunction with our Open Garden Day.  The Society’s normal rules will apply but the Show Procedure will be as follows: Entry Forms must be submitted to The Gate House by the Wednesday prior to the Open Day.  Entries can be staged from midday on Show Day.  Judging will commence at 2 pm.


The Shows will be conducted in accordance with the rules and standards contained in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Horticultural Show Handbook unless otherwise specified in this Handbook. 

A Schedule of Classes will be published annually listing the Classes for each Show.

You may enter the Shows if you live within a radius of four miles of East Hoathly Village Hall.   You remain eligible to enter the Shows if you are an existing or former member who has moved outside this area.  No person shall enter more than one exhibit in any one Class.

All exhibits to be grown, produced or made by the Exhibitor.  Potted Plants must have been in the ownership of the exhibitor for at least 3 months prior to the Show date.  Plates and or containers and or vases will be provided by the Society unless indicated otherwise in the Schedule.  Exhibitors who wish to use their own plate or presentation boards for vegetables must clear this with the Show Secretary in advance.  All photographs must have been taken by the Exhibitor and should have been taken in the last 12 months unless specified.  Kits may be used in the handicraft section or for winemaking.  If a kit has been used this should be noted on a card by that entry.  Junior entries must be produced unaided but supervision is allowed.  Only one entry per Class is allowed (not one from home and one from school).

All exhibits not removed by 3.30 pm on the day of the Show shall be deemed to become the property of the Society by way of gift from the exhibitor and will be normally be disposed of by auction for the benefit of the Society.

Judges are appointed by the Committee and may at their discretion cut, taste or otherwise test any exhibit.  The judges shall disqualify any exhibit which does not conform to the requirements of the Schedule.  They have discretion to award up to but not exceeding 3 prizes for each Class.


Points will be awarded for each Class as follows with Cash Prizes for Juniors only:

First        5 points       £1

Second       3 points       60p

Third        2 points       40p

Commended    1 point        20p

The following trophies are awarded based on the total of points awarded in both Shows unless otherwise specified.  In the event of 2 or more exhibitors having equal points the trophy will be held by each for a proportionate part of the year:

Spring Show

TURNER CUP                 Exhibitor with best exhibit in Spring Show.

MOORE TANKARD              Exhibitor with most points in Daffodil/Narcissi Classes at Spring Show.

HORSCROFT TROPHY           Best exhibit in the Daffodil/Narcissi Classes.

COOKERY TROPHY             Best Cookery exhibit in Spring Show.

PAYNE TROPHY               Best exhibit in the Decorative Division - Spring Show.

NAOMI BARLOW               Best exhibit in the Handicraft Division - Spring Show.

JUNIOR CHALLENGE CUP       Junior Exhibitor - best Spring Show exhibit (Excluding School Entries).


Rose and Sweet Pea Show

KEN PEARCE TROPHY          Exhibitor with most points in Sweet Pea classes.

Autumn Show

BOURNE CUP                 Exhibitor with most points in Rose Classes in Autumn Show. 

BARHAM CUP                 Exhibitor with most points in Fruit/Vegetable Classes in Autumn Show.   

COTTINGHAM CUP             Best horticultural exhibit in Autumn Show.

AKEHURST AWARD             Best cookery exhibit in Autumn Show.

DUKE ROSE BOWL             Best exhibit in the Handicraft Division - Autumn Show.

PAYNE TROPHY               Best exhibit in the Decorative Division - Autumn Show.

RUSSELL MEMORIAL MEDALS    Retained for one year and returned for reissue:

   Chrysanthemum Blooms.

   Chrysanthemum Sprays.

THE TALLEST SUNFLOWER      The Tallest Sunflower - Record   3.34 metres, set in 2011 by Mrs P Duke.

JUNIOR SUNFLOWER CHALLENGE Tallest Sunflower grown by a Junior.

Annual Awards

LADIES’ CUP                Lady Exhibitor with most points overall.

GENTLEMEN’S CUP            Gentleman Exhibitor with most points overall.

BELSHAW CUP                Exhibitor with most points in the Preserve Classes.

                           (normally 1 class in Spring Show and 2 classes in Autumn).

FAMILY CUP                 Family with most points overall (A Family being 3 or more members including at

                           least one adult).  The winning family may not compete in the following year.

VINE CUP                   Novice Exhibitor with most points overall (A Novice is someone who has not won a

                           senior cup before).

ISTED CUP                  Exhibitor with most points overall in Decorative Division.   

LOCKWOOD CUP               Exhibitor with most points overall in Handicraft Division.

COOKERY AWARD              Exhibitor with the most points overall in Cookery Division.   

JUNIOR CUPS                Junior Exhibitor with most points overall. Age at 1 st September of Show Year:

                           10 to 14 years

                           7 to 9 years

                           5 to 6 years

                           Under 5 years

BANKSIAN MEDAL             This Medal is granted by the Royal Horticultural Society for award to the exhibitor

                           with the largest amount of  prize money in the whole of the Horticultural Classes

                           overall.  This includes all classes of  Division 2 in the Spring Show and all

                           classes of Divisions 2 and 3 in the Autumn Show.  The winner of  this award is not

                           eligible to compete for it again for 2 years.

Lifetime Achievement Award

An award to mark a significant and protracted period of service to the Society.  The award will be granted by a vote of approval at the AGM.  Any Member of the Society may put a name forward to any member of the Committee at least 2 weeks prior to the AGM.  Candidates must be proposed at the AGM by a member of the Committee.  The Award may be granted posthumously.  The Award will be held until it is re-awarded to another person.


Vegetable          Quantity      Maximum      Vegetable          Quantity      Maximum

                   Required      Points                          Required      Points

Artichoke(globe)      3            15         Artichoke             3             10

French Bean           6            15         Beetroot              4             15

Runner Bean           6            18         Cabbage               2             15

Brussels Sprout       6            15         Cauliflower           2             20

Carrot (Long)         4            20         Celery(trench)        2             20

Carrot(other)         4            18         Celery(other)         2             18

Cucumber              2            15         Leek                  2             20

Lettuce               2            15         Parsnip               2             20

Onion                 3            20         Potato                4             20

Pea(pod)              6            20         Pumpkin               1             10

Tomato                6            18         Turnip                3             15

Tomato (cherry)       12           18         Pepper                2             15

Shallot               9            18         Courgette             4             12

Broad Bean(pod)       6            15         Marrow                2             15


Apple                 4                       Peach                 2

Raspberry             12                      Blackberry            12

Pear                  3                       Strawberry            10

Currant(strig)        3                       Plum                  4

Loganberry            12                      Gooseberry            12

Narcissi Divisions

Division 1 (Daffodil)   One bloom to a stem.  Corona (Trumpet) (x) as long or

longer than the Perianth segments (Petals) (y).

Division 2 (Long Cup)   One bloom to a stem.  Corona more than 1/3 but less than

equal to the length of the Perianth segments.

Division 3 (Short Cup)   One bloom to a stem.  Corona not more than 1/3  the

length of the Perianth segments.

Division 4 (Doubles)   Can be more than one bloom to a stem.  Corona, Perianth

segments, or both to be Double flowers.

                                                                  x = Corona

                                                                  y = Perianth Segment

         A useful tip is to fold the petal up alongside the corona to judge its length.

Still Not Sure ? - Don’t worry - you can enter your narcissi into the Class you think they are and check with the Show Secretary when you come to the Show.  If you got the Class wrong he has the discretion to allow you to change it to the correct Class.

Egg Judging Rules

1.  Shape. Showing uniform shape with greater length than width, the top to be much roomier than the bottom and more curved.

2.  Size. The eggs should be of uniform size.

3.  Shell Texture. Smooth, free from lines or bulges, smooth at each end, without roughness, porous parts or lime pimples.

4.   Colour. The colour should be even and in the case of mottled or speckled eggs, regular mottles or speckles are preferred.

5.  Freshness, Bloom and Appearance. Shells to be clean, without dull or stale appearance as befits a new laid egg. Shell surfaces may be shiny or matt but should be free from blemishes such as stains and nest marks. Eggs may be washed in preparation but not polished.

                  Scale of points:       Shape                             25

                                         Size                              15

                                         Shell texture                     20

                                         Colour                            20

                                         Freshness, bloom and appearance  20


Internal inspection should be done to one egg to check freshness - bright yolk, firm albumen (not watery), no marks of blood spots/meat spots.

Mixed Eggs   Eggs should all be the same variety unless the Class specifies Mixed Eggs.  Mixed Eggs can be from any breed or species and of mixed size and colour.  An additional 40 points available for Variety and Presentation.


Fruit and Vegetables

Aim for clean gently washed items.  Do not scrub or polish skins.  Select pest and disease free items and go for quality rather than size.  Match items for colour and size uniformity as near as possible.  Carrots and Beetroot should have about 5 cm stalk left on (these can be tied with raffia) and keep tapering roots intact.  Tomatoes should still have their calyx on and the calyx should be fresh.  Tomatoes should be ripe.  Cherry Tomatoes may be displayed on a bed of sand or rings on the plate provided to prevent them rolling.  Peas and Beans should have full pods.  Runner Beans should be as straight as possible.  Onions should have ripened skins with their roots cut off and the tops trimmed and preferably tied with raffia.  Onions should not be excessively peeled to get a cleaner skin.  Shallots are prepared as for onions but traditionally are displayed on a bed of sand on the plate provided.  Class 26 (White Potatoes) must have no colour on them, not even the eyes !  A popular white potato variety to try is Nadine and if grown in a plastic bag can be even whiter.  Rhubarb should have the spade trimmed and the leaf cut off to leave a fan of about 75 mm.  Forced Rhubarb should not be trimmed.

An example of how Carrots are judged is shown below:

Meritorious  Tender roots of good shape, colour and size according to cultivar, free from side roots; skins clean and bright.

Defective  Roots that are coarse and misshapen, fangy, dull or poorly coloured, green at the crown or pest damaged.

Long       Other than Long

Condition                        6 points      5 points

Size and Shape                   4 points      4 points

Colour                           5 points      5 points

Uniformity                       5 points      4 points

Total                           20 points     18 points


Flowers should generally be fresh, as free as possible from insect attack, good quality and colour according to variety.  Flowers should be arranged in their vase to show them off to best effect.  Blooms facing forward and heights adjusted to allow all of them to be seen.  Dampened newspaper, moss or “oasis” may be used to pad out the vase and ensure that the flowers stay in place.


Jars should be labelled with date and the main ingredients.  Jars should be filled to the brim and sealed with a wax disc whilst hot.  Only cellophane covers held in place by a rubber band should be used and these should be applied either whilst hot or fully cooled.  Jars of Lemon Curd may have metal lids.  Although plain jars are preferred, Trade jars such as “Le Parfait” or a jar with a company name embossed in glass on the side, may be used.  Pickles and chutneys should have vinegar proof coverings not metal lids without vinegar proof seals.

Baking Terms

Plate Pie            Has pastry top and bottom.

Tart                 Has pastry on bottom only.

Pie                  Has pastry on top o bottom

Sandwich Cake        Two halves with a filling and icing on top.

Gateau               Iced all over.

Cake                 Single uncut piece.

Decorative Division - Flower Arranging

Flowers need not come from your own garden.   An exhibit is composed of natural plant material, with or without accessories, contained within a specified space.  All natural plant material must have the cut ends in water/water retaining material.  Dried flowers, artificial flowers and accessories cannot be used unless specified in the Schedule.  In all exhibits, natural plant material should predominate.  Overall means height, width and depth.  If you are in any doubt about how to stage an entry, look at some of the other entries or ask a member of the committee for guidance.


East Hoathly and Halland in 2014 welcomed its new Garden Plots, which give residents the opportunity, whether or not they have a garden, of growing fruit, veg and flowers. We hope that this will encourage many more to exhibit their successes at our Shows.  To help newcomers in particular, the Society has obtained useful guides to growing on allotments and preparing material for showing, from the National Vegetable Society. This may be borrowed from Show Secretary Brian Duke or by emailing info@villageshowsociety.co.uk.  Below we also list some useful tips from veg expert Barry Newman:

Community Garden

In 2015 local resident James Hamilton-Andrews instigated the creation of a pair of plots for use by those in the village and nearby whose circumstances prevent them from having access to fresh produce. The chance to spend time cultivating then cooking and eating herbs and vegetables can supplement restricted lives and budgets with healthy benefits. The Village Show Society supports this initiative and invites members to contribute in any way they can to make it a success, whether by expertise, supply of plants and seeds, or donating tools and materials. www.ourcommunitygarden.org.uk

TOP Kitchen Garden TIPS

 In my experience the easiest and most productive way of growing vegetables is in raised beds.

 If at all possible keep grass paths and grass borders away from your vegetable beds.  Use wood chip or shredded bark for all paths and surrounds; this is a major deterrent to slugs and snails.

 Always try to rotate your crops to avoid build ups of pest and diseases in the soil and to avoid potential nutrient deficiencies.

 When incorporating manure or other organic material, try to get it on to your plot before the turn of the year. My method is to clear the ground, put a thick layer of the material on the surface and then cover it with weed fabric and weight it down around the edge. Let the worms, warmth and moisture do the work before unwrapping it in Feb/Mar and working it into the surface.

 If space allows try to keep an open trench on your plot. It makes a great receptacle for waste vegetation and organic matter which can form the foundation for your peas or beans the following year.

 Keep a plan of your plot showing the current years planting scheme, so that you can refer to it when working out your seed order for the following year. I find this helps to jog the memory when the crops are cleared in the autumn.

 Each year try something different. A new variety, a new technique or a vegetable you have never grown before. Never stop experimenting and learning.

 Keep a diary; register the weather, planting times and varieties used. Note your successes and failures; this is particularly useful for beginners to gain experience and ensure you grow what you like eating when you want to eat it.

 Do not rush everything at the beginning of the season, watch the weather forecasts.  Plant and sow to suit your needs, avoid gluts but ensure continuity, particularly with salad crops. Don’t fill the plot in May; remember to leave space in the summer for those overwintering crops such as Brussels, Sprouting, Kale and Leeks.

 Always keep your plot tidy and weed free. In my experience a clean, well managed plot is always the sign of a good and productive grower.

Barry Newman NDH, FNVS.

TOP TEN Vegetable Variety TIPS

                                           SPRING/SUMMER                                                                                              AUTUMN/WINTER

Runner Bean (Enorma) SOW APR IN ROOT TRAINERS                                      Parsnip (Palace) SOW DIRECT IN STATIONS APR

Broad Bean (Imperial Longpod) S0W FEB IN ROOT TRAINERS                         Kale (Dwarf Curled) PURCHASE PLUGS JUNE

Pea (Oregan Sugar Pod) SOW APR DIRECT                                                            Purple Sprouting (Rudolf) PURCHASE PLUGS JUNE

Courgette (Ambassador) SOW APR IN POTS                                                         Cabbage (January King) PURCHASE PLUGS JUNE

Shallot (Hative de Noirt) PLANT DEC IN POTS                                                     Beet (Perpetual) SOW IN ROOT TRAINERS APRIL

Onion (Hytec) SOW JAN IN TRAY                                                                            Brussels Sprouts (Crispus) PURCHASE PLUGS JUNE

Lettuce (Butterhead var.) PURCHASE PLUGS MAY ONWARDS                        Leek (Neptune & Flexton) SOW APRIL IN TRAYS

Tomato (Country Taste & Sungold) PLANT INSIDE MAY                                   Onion (Senshyu) SOW AUG IN TRAYS

Potato (Kestrel) PLANT IN BAGS APR                                                                    Carrot (Nandor) SOW DIRECT IN STATIONS MAY

Asparagus (Gijnlim) PLANT THONGS MAR                                                         Garlic (Solent Wight) PLANT DIRECT OCT

Barry Newman NDH, FNVS National Vegetable Society