Burnham Market’s Flower Show and Carnival can boast an annual display of the village’s horticultural talents stretching over three centuries.
Although no known Horticultural Society written records exist, newspaper reports indicate the show started in the 1890’s, survived two world wars and is still going strong well into the 21st century.
This year’s event, which was held on Saturday, started, as usual, with competitions for the best wheeled and walking floats and fancy dress competitions on the village green.
The colourful procession then wended its way through the village, led by the Cambridge Caledonian Pipe Band to the playing field for an afternoon packed with entertainment which included a birds of prey flying display, Morris dancing by the King’s Morris, a Tang Su Do martial arts display by the East Coast Martial Arts Academy, children’s races, welly-wanging and sack races.
Side-shows and stalls, including charities such as the RSPB and Wells Community Hospital, dotted the edge of the field and in one corner a traditional fun-fair offered excitements from traditional dodgems and hair-raising roundabouts to the tangled hairy delights of candyfloss.
Visitors could enjoy traditional tunes played by an Antwerp-built Bursen showman’s street organ whilst nearby youngsters took part in a circus workshop or watched a Punch and Judy show.
But the main attraction for many was the flower show in a large marquee.
Burnhams Horticultural Society secretary Diana Black said: “The weather proved to be a challenge for gardeners this year, but we still had a lot of entries.”
Extreme weather condition did not favour the entries in the section for roses but fruit, apart from gooseberries, did well as did vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and marrows.
Flowers still provided a colourful display especially in the flower-arranging section.
Where the weather could not affect entries, such as handicrafts, there was an increased entry and a children’s art competition attracted nearly 100 entries.
Mrs Black said: “What is so encouraging is that people like to have a go in everything from cookery to flower arranging.”
The afternoon of fun extended into the evening when the horticultural produce disappeared and the tented space was transformed for Music in the Marquee, featuring local bands DMA and VEX.