Show Reports

Annual Show,August 30, 2020

What a challenging year we are having! Everyone got off to a good start in the New Year, but then round the corner came Covid, and nobody knew really what was going to happen. It all came to light fairly quickly and it affected everyone with the lockdown and is affecting most of the country All our Dahlia shows were being cancelled and it looked as though there would be no more shows in 2020. At Essex, having already cancelled our early plant sale, all we could do was sit back and wait to see what happened and as we went into the summer everything started to improve with people going back to work, shops opening and life started to look a little better. Many dahlia growers had opted out of growing this year but there were still several around who chose to grow regardless.

As the summer progressed and we got closer to August, we had always planned to hold a show if possible with a couple of options of places to hold the show on the table. Fortunately Writtle College were able to allow us to host the event there as per the last couple of years so we seized the opportunity to go for the Main show there, which we held on Sunday, August 30.

It took quite a lot of re-organising but it wasn’t a major problem. We had a one-way system throughout the hall for exhibitors and spectators, enabling us all to maintain the 2 m distance, which worked very well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t provide the traditional buffet lunch for the judges and competitors but we did manage to secure packed lunches in pre-packed bags for everyone, which was very much appreciated.

The show was very well supported, unfortunately some of our regular members chose not to show this year, for health reasons, but there were several new faces travelling from far away. Robin Moyser travelled from Maidstone, Kent he came up on the Saturday to do some of his staging went home got more blooms and came back the next morning to stage the rest. Robin also went on to win the main championship, so it was well worth his effort and what a stunning display using his own sport Tracy Diane.

Another competitor travelled from overseas, a good friend Darren Everest who came from the Isle of Wight. Darren travelled up on the Saturday and staged Saturday afternoon and evening. I’m not sure but I think Darren slept in his van once he had got all the dahlias out, and continued to stage on Sunday morning. Darren always puts in 100%.

In addition to the familiar faces that we look forward to seeing every year, it’s nice to see a few new faces just starting out in the world of dahlia showing, and they all put on a good display. I’m sure they all learn a lot on the day and we look forward to seeing them in the future and wish them well with the showing for next year.

Overall an excellent display of around 240 vases were put up on the show bench by 15 competitors. Well done to you all and thank you.

… and the winners

Class A, the Essex Dahlia Society championship, winner Robin Moyser with

  • Three White Vals Candy
  • Five Mary’s Jomanda
  • Five Tracy Diane
  • Five Oakwood Goldcrest

Tracy Diane being Robin’s own sport of Winholme Diane which is going to be in great demand this year; a very stunning bloom.

Class B the Writtle University shield winner Chris Whiting

  • Three Fairways Spur
  • Five Mary’s Jomanda
  • Five Lemon Elegance

Darren Everest winner the Floral Basket class with a brilliant exhibit

Dave Gillam with his winning six exhibits in the Giant Class

John Carter with his three vases of winning collarette

Alan Ripley winner of class three the Scimitar Perpetual Challenge cup with three vases of three Grenadier Pastel

Dave Spencer with his winning vase of Winholme Diane which won him best vase of small decorative blooms in show
Dave was also awarded the NDS Silver Medal for best vase in show

Gerald Vale with his winning vase of poms

Paul Schramm with his winning exhibit two vases of three, one of which went on to win best vase of large semi-cactus In show

Winner of the members challenge was John Cullen with Dave’s Choice Lemon Elegance and Tracy Diane

Winner of the novice class, Lindsey Bain with Mary’s Jomanda

Winner of the intermediate challenge was Matthew Oliver with his Hillcrest Candy
Matthew’s exhibit also won the bronze medal for Best Exhibit in the intermediate class

Late Mini Show, September 12, 2019

With twice as many exhibits as our earlier mini show, the late mini show attracted a large number of exhibitors and visitors alike.

Dave Spencer won the Silver Medal for Best Vase in Show, and the Bronze Medal for Best Single Vase in Show.

The Jane Lydford Memorial Trophy, for the greatest number of first prizes in both mini shows, was presented to John Sharp.

Raymond Duffy won the Two Vase Challenge.

Annual Show, August 29, 2019

Our 51st  annual show welcomed new and old exhibitors, with a grand display of 250 exhibits. Despite the continued dry summer, our exhibitors produced some wonderful blooms, which adorned the show.

In recognition of their considerable contributions to Essex Dhalia Society, spanning many years, an NDS Silver Medal was presented to Margaret and John Wills

There were two championship classes on the day, one four vase class, and one three vase class.

The Class A Essex Dahlia Society Championship  was won by Dave Gilliam with

White Hillcrest Candy
Mary’s Jomanda
3 x Ryecroft Misty, 2 x Marston Suzanne
Gurtla Twilight

Second place went to Dave Spencer, who also won Best Vase in Show

Third place went to John Cullen

The Writtle University Shield was won by Malcolm Deacon with

Mary’s Jomanda
Oakwood goldcrest
Ruskin Diane

Second place went to Paul Schramm with

Mary’s Jomanda
Oakwood Goldcrest
Hamari Accord


Gerald Vale received the NDS Bronze Medal for Best Single Bloom in Show.

There were no entries for the Novice Class.

The Intermediate Class was won by Gerald Vale.

Members Class and Best Vase Members were won by John Cullen.

The Melmar Trophy was won by John Willet.

Our thanks to all the exhibitors, visitors and guest, many of whom would have travelled a long distance.

Early Mini Show, August 22, 2019

Following the dry, hot summer of 2018, 2019 looked liked being very much the same. This gave some growers problems getting their blooms ready in time for the show. It was therefore extremely pleasing to receive 86 exhibits from 7 exhibitors.

The Two Vase Challenge was won by John Cullen,

with John Sharp winning the bronze medal for Best Vase in Show, and the Best Single Bloom in Show.


Essex Young Farmers’ Show, May 19, 2019.

Essex Dahlia Society’s stand at the Essex Young Farmers’ Show attracted several visitors. We would like to thank those people who visited us and bought plants from our considerable selection, and those who provided the plants and helped out on the day.

Second Evening Mini Show, September 15, 2018.

To end this anniversary season, Essex Dahlia Society held their second evening show on Saturday September 15, and what a show it was. Everybody had plenty of blooms, and people come from far afield with 205 vases in show. It was a spectacular evening and probably one of the best evening shows Essex Dahlia Society has seen for many years. Dave Spencer, once again, won Best Vase in Show with his Polventon Kristobel and collected another NDS Silver Medal.

The NDS Bronze Medal was awarded to Kevin Moores with his vase of Jomanda. Kevin also went home with a bottle of wine for Best Single Bloom in show, Kenora challenger.

An excellent turnout considering that we had one of the hottest summers since 1976.

Thank you to all exhibitors, visitors and guests who came to see the exhibits.

Very special thanks to Alan Taylor, who generously contributed all the prize money for the main championship classes, and to John Cullen and Paul Schramm, for providing the trophies to pass to our worthy winners.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year, and I’m sure you’re already planning what to grow, and what not to grow, in your plots.

50th Anniversary Show, Saturday, August 26, 2018.

On Sunday, August 26, Essex Dahlia Society held their 50th anniversary show  at  Writtle College, Chelmsford. There was a fantastic turnout of exhibitors with nearly 220 vases being shown.

There were two championship classes on the day, one four vase class, and one three vase class.

The four vase A class was won by John Cullen with

Hamari accord
Daves choice
Polventon Kristobel
Ryecroft Zoe

Second place went to Dave Spencer with

Kenora challenger
Polventon Kristobel
Rycroft raven
Gurtla twilight

Third place went to Alan Taylor with

Rycroft Helen
Sherval megan
Polventon Kristobel
Ryecroft Bella

The three vase B class was won by Paul Schramm with

Hamari accord
Oakwood goldcrest
Mary’s Jomanda

Second place went to Alan Ripley with

Avoca Amanda
Grenidor pastell

Third place went to Malcolm Deakin with

Hamari accord
Oakwood goldcrest
Mary’s jomanda


Dave Spencer went on to win Best Vase in Show and picked up the NDS Silver Medal.

Paul Schramm received the NDS Bronze Medal for Best Single Bloom in show.

The Novice Class was shared by William Witney and Chris Whiting.

The Intermediate Class was won by William Witney.

It was nice to see Chris Whiting back at the show bench after an 18 year absence from showing; well done, Chris.

Our thanks to all the exhibitors, many of whom would have travelled a long distance.

Our thanks also go to all the visitors and guests who turned out on a horrible wet Sunday afternoon to view a beautiful display.

First Evening Mini Show,  Saturday, August 18, 2018.

On Saturday, August 18, Essex Dahlia Society staged the first evening Mini Show. Owing to the very hot weather that we had been having prior to the event, many growers, who had been trying to time their blooms for the day, struggled as the weather took a turn and cooled down a little. Most of us were a bit short of blooms on the day, but nevertheless there was a good show and Alan Ripley topped the show with some stunning Avoca Amanda which won him the NDS Silver Medal for Best in Show.

Paul Schramm