sandiquiz's WunderBlog

Creative Coding Day 1 #85

By: sandiquiz, 5:04 PM GMT on May 20, 2014

Today - May the 20th, is the first open day of the 101st Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.

First held in May 1913, on the grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital in London, now the home of the famous Chelsea Pensioners, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has become one of the most famous annual garden shows, attracting visitors and exhibitors from all around the world.

Each year in the middle of April, the grounds of the Hospital turn from acres of lawns into many small and large gardens, and several huge marques seem to spring up overnight.

This is the area, eleven acres in total, of the Chelsea hospital that turns into a famous Flower Show for seven weeks of each year.

Chelsea show begins with garden designers approaching the RHS council with their suggested designs for a garden to be entered in the following year's show. Many are rejected, but for those who are lucky, it is the start of a whole year of hard work, worrying about the plants, the weather and sourcing items for their display or garden from all over the world.

Once the countdown to the show begins, before any plant is positioned in the soil, the hard landscaping has to be completed.

The idea for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show began in 1912 when Sir Harry Veitch, looking for a place to hold the Temple Flower Show managed to secure the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. It proved to be such a good venue that the Spring Flower festival, normally held in Kensington was moved there in 1913 and became known as the Chelsea Flower show.

In 1915, with England at war, it was nearly called off, but went ahead in 1915 and 1916, only being cancelled in 1917-18, as many of the horticultural producers had gone to Europe to fight.

By the middle to the 1920s, it had become 'The place to be in May', and drew in many exhibiters and spectators from around the country.

In 1928, a torrential hailstorm on the eve of opening day caused the marquees to be flooded. By the next morning, the show opened with no sign of the previous night’s torrential storm, after staff and exhibitors worked through the night to clear debris and repair damage.

The temperamental British weather never stops the exhibitors from putting on the greatest garden show in the world!

The grounds of the Royal Hospital were commandeered by the government in early 1946 as an anti-aircraft gun emplacement, so the show was cancelled for the duration of the Second World War.

Once the war was over the RHS Council felt strongly that the show should resume as soon as possible, so in 1947 the show went ahead, with competitors from many areas of the world, including Europe!

It has always been a Royal Show, with the Royal family visiting the displays each year. The present queen loves to go, having a very knowledgeable interest in gardens and plants.

The Chelsea Pensioners, in their very bright red uniforms, love to visit the show, and as it is in their grounds, they are allowed to wander around freely, often being photographed admiring the displays, or even as part of it, as they were in 2012 when Diarmuid Gavin, the Irish gardener, built a pyramid garden over 75 feet high, and installed a lift so that the pensioners could get to all levels for a photo-shoot!

Today, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is still viewed as the most important event in the horticultural calendar and is as popular as ever.

It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to over 500 today and this year will attract 160,000 visitors from across the globe over its five days.

Some facts

• It takes 800 people 33 days to build the show.

• It takes three weeks to build a show garden and 10 days for a cottage garden. They all have to come apart in just five days.

• There are about 160,000 visitors each year, capped at number this since 1988, hence the tickets sell out extremely quickly!

• Each visitor spends an average of five hours at the event.

• Last year on opening day, visitors consumed 5,567 glasses of champagne, 12,120 sandwiches and baguettes, 24,191 cakes and pastries and 35,900 cups of tea.

Each day, I will post a link to something in the news from the show....

Today, on Press day, and the Royal visitor day, the Queen and Princess Beatrice visited THE TRENCHES... a garden laid out to commemorate the 100th year since the beginning of World War 1 .


Locations of Site Visitors

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Updated: 4:51 PM GMT on June 02, 2014


The Flying Man of 1733

By: sandiquiz, 11:08 AM GMT on May 11, 2014

Yesterday afternoon I received a photo and text message from my sister, taken by her hubby, as she 'zip-wired' down the front of the Church in our home town, as part of the charity event to celebrate the ‘Flying Man of Pocklington’.

I hadn't been aware she was going to do this, so it came as a surprise to me. Although I am no longer surprised by what my little sister does; she has begun to do things she would never have thought she was capable of five years ago!

All Saints' Church, (where I sang in the choir for 15 years), began to the hold the event ten years ago, in honour of Thomas Pelling, the daredevil, who died during a stunt at the church, and is buried in the graveyard.

Pelling was a travelling showman who toured the country in the 18th century, showing off his daredevil routine of 'flying' between buildings, using a mechanism of ropes and pulleys. He arrived in Pocklington in April 1733 with the aim of 'flying' over Market Street between the tower of All Saints' and the local Inn, but his equipment failed and he fell to his death in the church grounds.

A rope had been attached to the top of the tower, with the end wound into a windlass near to the Star Inn on Market Street. Straps had been inserted into iron rings on the rope and wrapped around his chest and one leg, leaving his arms and one leg free for balance. He also wore a set of wings designed to make him look like a large bat.

Unfortunately for Thomas Pelling, as he began his descent the rope began to slacken. He called out for the windlass to be tightened, but his helpers misunderstood and did the reverse, slackening the rope even further. Pelling fell onto the battlements at the east end of the church and fractured his skull, dying two days later. The folk of Pocklington buried him at the exact spot he fell, and erected a plaque on the wall of the church, in his memory.

Since I last visited the church, the memorial has been replaced enabling the words to be read clearly again. The original sandstone has weathered well for almost 300 years, but the replacement marble inscription should easily last another 300 years plus!

The parish register notes the death of Thomas Pelling in its list of burials for the year 1733, as the following.

April ye 16th: Thomas Pelling from Burton Strather in Lincolnshire a Flying Man who was killed by falling against ye Battlement of ye Choir when coming down ye Rope from ye Steeple.

Known locally as the Cathedral of the Wolds, All Saints' Church is an important Grade I listed building, dating mainly between 1200 and 1450. Its hundred foot high tower, the tallest structure in the town, and its four blue-faced clocks, which were designed to been seen from the town and the fields beyond, have kept the inhabitants 'on time' for almost 200 years.


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Updated: 7:37 PM GMT on May 17, 2014


April 2014 ~ A photo a day

By: sandiquiz, 12:06 PM GMT on May 02, 2014

For the first time ever I enrolled in one of the daily challenges on Flickr. It was to take a photo a day, and then comment on the photos of as many other members in the group I could, as well as reply to those who commented on mine.

I managed to remember to take a photo each day, and never had to resort to taking a photo of my slippers beside the bed as I "hit the hay"!

Each day's photo had to be edited and labelled, which didn't take long, but added extra time to my day.

The other reason I have been so busy the last few days is time taken to making the final collage for the group, and also collating votes received after 46 mails were sent out to Birds and Wildlife members who entered the April calendar challenge.

I also have been trying to find a third x great granddad, who is being elusive. As Pros will agree, once you get drawn into ancestry detective work, time disappears... to where, you have no idea!

But here we are in May... and I do not have to take a photo unless I want to! (how some members takes a photo a day for 365 days, I have no idea!}

Here is the final collage, with the photos in order from day one to day 30.


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Updated: 12:39 PM GMT on May 02, 2014


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About sandiquiz

I have been a WU member since September 2005. Now a retired teacher, enjoying my garden, writing, sketching, taking photos, and having great fun!

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