Show recipes, tips and guidance

Wolverhampton Horticultural Society Show: 
Rules and notes for guidance (2024 edition)

1. On arrival exhibitors MUST register with the Entry Steward to receive their exhibitor’s number and display cards (one card to be placed with each exhibit). Entry fees must be paid at the Treasurer’s table before staging.

2. The Prizes for all classes are:  1st £1; 2nd 60p; 3rd 40p. Points towards trophies and medals are: 1st 6 pts; 2nd 4pts; 3rd 2pts.  Prize monies can be collected from the Treasurer’s table after the prize presentation. 

3. Trophies are awarded as follows:	              Overall Show winner: classes 1 to 60 	
Fruit: classes 1 to 6   			       Vegetables: classes 7 to 26	
Cut Ornamentals: classes 27 to 35		       Pot Plants: classes 36 to 38		
Floral Art: classes 39 to 43 		               Home Produce: classes 44 to 53		
Photography: classes 54 to 57		              Arts and Crafts: classes 58 to 60
Children’s cup: Members’ children/grandchildren aged 15 or under with most points across all classes

4. The Royal Horticultural Society Banksian Medal is awarded for horticultural classes only (classes 1 to 38). Any person who has won the medal in the last two years is not eligible.                                       

5. The National Vegetable Society medal will be awarded for the most meritorious exhibit in classes 7 to 26.

6. The Ben George Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the exhibitor, who has the highest total of points, but has not won one, or more of the main trophies/awards/medals.  An extra 2 points will be awarded for each class in which the member has entered at least one exhibit. Any person who has won the trophy in the last two years is not eligible.

7. Classes will be judged to Royal Horticultural Society or appropriate National Society rules.
8. Exhibits in Photographs (classes 54 to 57) and Arts and Crafts (classes 58 to 60) must not have been previously exhibited at a Wolverhampton Horticultural Society show. Photographs must be prints up to a maximum of A4 including mount, and must be exhibitor’s own work

9. If, in the opinion of the Judge, the entries in a class are insufficient, classes may be grouped together. The Members onion should have stem trimmed to maximum 1” and roots removed, judges will remove any excess.

10. Prizes may be withheld if the Judge considers the entries do not merit an award. The Judge’s decision is final in all matters relating to exhibits.

11. The Committee reserves the right to refuse any entry without giving a reason or explanation for such a refusal. Members joining on the day of the show are not eligible for the Members only classes or the Ben George Challenge Trophy.
12. Objections by exhibitors must be lodged in writing to the Show Secretary by 2.45pm, with a deposit of £1 for each objection, which shall be forfeited if the objection is not upheld by the Show Committee, whose decision is final.        
13. No exhibits may be removed before the presentation of the trophies.

14. When an exhibitor is unable to stage in person, the delegate must be present at prize giving and remove the exhibit at the end of the Show

15. Exhibits must be the property of the exhibitors and must have been in their possession for at least six weeks

16. Two or more persons may not exhibit, separately, items in the same class from the same garden or allotment, except in the Flower Arrangement classes.
17. Flower Arrangements will gain points for harmonious containers or supports. Pot plants will gain points for presentation, i.e. clean pots, neat tying or staking, freedom from blemishes in the leaves and flowers. Max base 30cm sq

18. Fruits and tomatoes should be presented on a plate (cardboard is acceptable) and should be unpolished and ripe, (except in the case of apples and pears which may be shown ripe or unripe), and with stalks.

19. Beetroots should have leaves trimmed to 7.5cm (3”). Courgettes may be with or without flower attached. Leek leaves trimmed to 2” above the “button” and roots trimmed. 

20. Garnish can be included in the display of 3 or more vegetables but will not be considered during the judging process.

21. Entries in the Home Produce classes must conform to the details on the recipe sheets, including ingredients and size. All exhibits should be on an appropriate size plate. See guidance on Tips for Home Produce section.


Wolverhampton Horticultural Society
Recipes for the Annual Show

Victoria Sandwich ( creaming method )	
6 oz. soft margarine or butter
6 oz. caster sugar
3 eggs
6 oz. white self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
Teaspoon of vanilla essence
Raspberry or strawberry jam for the centre.
Icing sugar for the top.
Approximately 7” (18cm.) in diameter

Victoria Sandwiches should be presented on 
an appropriately sized plate.

Tips for Home Produce Section of the Annual Horticultural Show

Recommended marking scheme:
Each item is marked on its own merits out of 20. Most marks are given for aroma and flavour, as this is the hallmark of home baking.
External appearance      4
Colour shape and uniformity
Internal condition       4
Depth of crust, texture, distribution of ingredients
Flavour/aroma           12

(a) General points for all cakes
In proportion (depth/width length) e.g., good idea to weigh mixture into the tins.
Sides smooth, indicating a well-lined tin.
No cooling rack marks on top of cake or air bubbles.
Any fruit should be evenly distributed, no sign of flour pockets.
Unless schedule states otherwise, cakes should be presented on a plate.

(b) Victoria Sandwich
See above plus:
Recipe as the show schedule states 
Raspberry jam stops the top and bottom separating, use sufficient, evenly spread.
Top flat or almost flat

(c) Scones
Recipe as the show schedule states
Suitable size 5-6cms diameter (2- 2 ½ inch) almost as tall as round.
Should stand erect (take care not to twist cutter)
Flat on top
No glaze, but may be dusted with flour before baking.
Scones should preferably have a “waist” so can be split without using a knife

(d) Preserves
Recommended marking scheme:
Each item is marked on its own merits, out of 20
External standard
Container, cover, label, appearance     2
Internal standard
Colour and quantity    5
Consistency and texture   6
Flavour and aroma         7

(e) Covers for Jams, Jellies and Marmalades
The first thing the judge looks for is a seal. This shows that the item is actually worthy of the term preserve.
A twist top or plastic cover will “pop” when opened if there is a true seal. 
Lids should always be put on freshly potted sugar preserves, immediately each jar is filled, when hot. 
Avoid honey jars with screw tops, as the thread does not produce a good seal. The new twist tops however do give a good seal.
Slow cooking before adding sugar & very rapid boil once sugar added.
No manufacturers names on lids or jars (Kilner jars are acceptable as Kilner do not manufacture preserves).
Wax discs not necessary with screw top
Try to use new lids
 Always ensure fruit is well cooked before adding sugar, fill jar to top

(f) Recycled jars and lids
If no seal of preservation is present, the item is not acceptable (NA) and is not marked further. (Often an exhibitor will be tempted to test the seal before exhibiting, and thus destroy it!)
Labels should be plain, neat and straight and of suitable size for the container. Place label between the seams of the jar. Label should state the contents and day, month and year of making.

(g) Lemon Curd - Must be covered so it can breathe, ie wax disc +cellophane. Solid lids are not acceptable.

(h) Marmalade - leave to settle for 20mins & stir before potting.

(i) Vinegar preserves
Keep at least two months before showing.
Covers of preserves must prevent evaporation and should not be liable to corrosion due to the presence of vinegar (e.g. twist tops with plastic linings, pliable plastic on traditional jam jars)
Do not use cellophane cover.

Colour of all pickles is better if white vinegar is used rather than malt.

Clear pickle 
Vegetables should be crisp (except beetroot, which should be tender)

Label should state HOT or MILD
Mature flavour improved by being potted for two to three months

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