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Manchester

Back on Terra Firma

  • Richard Fair
  • 24 Jul 07, 09:38 AM

Wallace before and afterThere’s something mildly disturbing about watching grown ups ripping apart a floral Wallace and Gromit display. Flowers and soil everywhere. Young children elbowed out of the way and people standing on other people’s heads.

For most of the week Wallace grinned at me from under his blanket of flowers. Crowds gathered in the sun or rain to widen their mouths and say “Smashing toast Gromit” or “Not even Wensleydale?” And then on Sunday afternoon over the PA system at the RHS Tatton Flower Show came the announcement that the big sell off was going to happen fifteen minutes early due to the bad weather. Panic.

I’m not sure if you are aware of what happens during the sell off. Basically it’s a free for all as people try to buy up the plants that have been used in the show gardens.

Some gardens don’t even bother selling and just allow the locust-like public to gorge themselves on whatever they can grab. Bags and wheelbarrows appear from nowhere and it all goes a bit crazy. And then, at 5pm, the Show closes and the swarms of heavily laden visitors head back to the car park to try and decide which child they should leave behind in order to get that free laburnum on the back seat.

How different the mood from the Wednesday when it was RHS Members Day and the most frantic moment was when someone knocked over a jug of Pimms.

It’s so good to be back in Manchester and perhaps some kind of normal service will be resumed.

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