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Tulip show is ready to bloom

Pictured: Judging at the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society annual show

Pictured: Judging at the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society annual show

The Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society’s annual show is taking place later this month.

The 179th show has 33 classes for the English florists’ tulip and the Dutch tulip. The event will take place at Primrose Hall, Green Park Avenue, Horbury, on Saturday, May 17. Staging takes place from 10am, with judging from noon.

Teresa Clements, society secretary, said: “Five classes are for what we call the Dutch tulip but the rest are reserved for the more unusual English tulip. It is always good to see the rarer flowers and this year has been a mild spring so it will be interesting to see what is on offer.”

The hall will be open to the public from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Admission is free and there will be stalls and refreshments.

The society, which dates back to 1836, is one of the oldest florist societies in existence.

During the 19th century there were at least 200 tulip societies across the country, but since 1936 the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society has been the only one in Britain. It now boasts members from all over the UK and from several other countries.

Growing tulips used to be a pastime reserved for the rich, but the hobby was taken up by miners who wanted to spend time outdoors after long stints down the pit.

The miners would host shows in local pubs, with each tulip displayed in a beer bottle, a tradition which continues today.

Mrs Clements added: “We still display the English tulips in brown beer bottles, which is always a good talking point.”

Visit www.tulipsociety.co.uk for more information.

 

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