This was our first venture to Firle Spring Garden Show held in the grounds of Firle Place, April 22 to 24 2016.

I left home at 5.30 am on the morning of the show fully laden with the gazebo, garden tools, and whatsits and arrived on site at about 7 am to be welcomed by three volunteers: Colin Sullivan and two of his friends,  Alan and Tyl.

We had our display set up by about 9 am ready for the public at 10am. The show is much smaller than the Stansted Garden Show and on the first day we had a small but steady flow of visitors due to the promise of rain which did not come until later in the evening. Apart from the usual tool display and whatsits, Colin demonstrated the spill plane, his version of The Parser (see the Spring Newsletter) and the Aubin saw making finger joints for boxes. End of day one I retired to a holiday retreat kindly offered by Colin's friend Tyl.

Days two and three were much better but cold and we were joined by Marion who worked on the rope machine made by Colin after our visit to Portsmouth Dockyard and the Rope Shop. This generated a lot of interest from both children and adults who proudly carried home the pieces of rope they had made themselves. Colin carried on with his demonstrations whilst Alan and I dealt with the display and whatsits. We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the three days and were entertained by morris men and a jazz trio.

At least one positive new member although many of the leaflets were taken. The take down and packing away at the end took less than an hour. We were thankful that although overcast at times the rain held off.

My special thanks to Colin and his friends Marion, Alan and Tyl for all their help, without it I could not do it. Our average age is about 80 years, how much longer will we be able to do it?

Mike Rogers

Photos by Colin Sullivan

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