From would-be rock stars to sheep shearers from ‘down under’, there’s plenty that’s new this year at the South of England Agricultural Society’s Spring Garden & Leisure Show.
Rising stars in the rock and pop world will be entertaining the crowds with old favourites and original numbers when the children, teenagers and adults from Haywards Heath-based Rok Skool perform at the South of England Centre in Ardingly, near Haywards Heath. The fast-growing professional outfit was started by former Flying Pickets front man Hereward Kaye and now has more than 250 performers on its books including stunning solo musicians, singers and its dozen-plus trademark rock bands.
Hereward, along with wife, Pat, who is the school’s Head Vocal Coach, and elder son, Leon, a fellow director and teacher, will be putting together a repertoire of performers to entertain visitors on both of the two Spring Garden & Leisure Show days - Sunday 6 May and Bank Holiday Monday 7 May between 11am and 3pm.
Also, high on the agenda for visitors looking for something new this year is The Mini Sheep Show, a smaller version of the ever-popular Sheep Show which entertains thousands every year at the South of England Show in June. For the first time, the hilarious formula of a Kiwi-style ‘driver’ exposing the mysteries of sheep and showing visitors how to shear one, all set to music, is guaranteed to bring the house down. Performances start each day at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
Of course, springtime is all about sowing seeds for new beginnings and the all-new Ask the Garden Experts feature should be another show stopper, says Clare Hastings, Chairman of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show Committee. The expert panel on Sunday 6 May includes chairman Jean Griffin from BBC Surrey, Sussex and Kent; Tom Brown, Head Gardener of Parham House, plus Martin Duncan and Isobel McKinley, Head Gardener and Arboriculturist at Arundel Castle. On Monday 7 May it will again comprise chairman Jean Griffin and Peter Holman, Chairman of the South & South East in Bloom & London in Bloom competitions.
Ask the Garden Experts will be based in a new marquee called The Gardening Theatre. For those with a thirst for knowledge or who just want to become better gardeners, there will also be 20-minute talks with Dr Glynn Percival, consultant with Bartletts Tree Surgeons, and flower arranging demonstrations by members of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies and Brinsbury College.
As always, the South of England Agricultural Society has plenty planned for its first show weekend of the year including the Alpaca Show, the Open Dog Show, the Fur, Feather and Rabbit Show, The Spinners and Weavers Marquee and the Access the Countryside Marquee with its Fluffy Duck Trail for younger show visitors.
With steel bands playing on the bandstand, the Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance operating from the Ardingly Ring with take offs and landings throughout the two days, and the dozens of stalls in the ever-tempting Food Court plus avenues of retail therapy, don’t miss a wonderful day out at Ardingly this May.
For more on the show, tickets including advance ticket discounts, please go to the website at www.seas.org.uk.
Published 21st March 2012
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