Couple tie the knot and run Owslebury Horticultural Show at the same time (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Couple tie the knot and run Owslebury Horticultural Show at the same time
11:22am Monday 12th August 2013 in News
MOST brides leave their wedding to head for the reception after throwing their floral bouquet over their shoulder to be caught by an excited bridesmaid.
Jennifer White stepped into the field next to the church to officially open the first horticultural show in a Hampshire village for some 40 years.
Jennifer and Nigel White have resurrected the Owslebury Horticultural Show and attracted hundreds of people on Saturday.
The marquee with its clipped grassy floor and its languid wasps was filled with trestle tables displaying the skills of villagers, from chocolate cakes to onion sets and children’s models to jam.
The couple wanted to recreate the atmosphere of traditional shows to such an extent that they bought two genuine 1950s marquees made of canvas not plastic. Originally there were seven silver cups and Nigel has managed to retrieve four of them and hopes to recover two more. The seventh has been destroyed.
Jennifer, 46, said: “It was a joint decision between us. Everything just all came together. Rather than go to a hotel, let’s have it all here.
“If you are going to get married you have to make it unique. We have a lovely medieval church and got the people to fill up the church. It’s been lovely.”
Nigel, 57, of Whaddon Lane, who runs a vehicle recovery firm, said: “We hope to get 500-1,000 through the gate. We missed the show when it closed. I have tried very hard to recreate it. Standing inside, I was eight years old again and my Mum was saying ‘one day you will run this.’ I said ‘don’t be daft!’ “It was very emotional this morning. Standing in the tent as the exhibits came in. There was a real buzz,” he said.
Villagers welcomed the revival. Siobhan Hand, of Main Road, said: “The atmosphere is better than I expected. Everyone is energised to get baking and preserving. It’s been lovely.”
Gerry Tull, a resident since 1976, of Main Road, entered his parsnips and cucumber. He said: “It’s been a lot of fun. Next year may be more competitive though! Initially I was amazed by the turnout. I think interest will grow.”
The bride and groom are preparing for their honeymoon, initially the Great Dorset Steam Fair, followed by a week on a Greek island. Their wedding night was spent in a tepee on site. They have been sleeping there for the last few nights to ensure security.
There were several static displays including veteran cars and buses and one for local beef farm Whaddon Farm, run by the Lush family since 1930.
Music was provided by New Forest Brass and the Winchester-based barber shop choir The Wessex Chordsmen.
There was traditional cream teas and the entertainment ran into the evening with the Hazel Scott Cajun Band play at a BBQ.
At the end of the afternoon the produce was auctioned off to raise more funds to ensure the event returns next year.
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