The National Honey Show 29th October – 31st October at St George’s College, Weybridge Road, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 2QS. Celebrating it’s 84th year.
This is the show for professional honey exhibitors, honey shops, and beekeepers from all over the world who flock here for the chance to win one of the many silver cups steeped in history and tradition. Wednesday night people from all over lined up to check in their honeys for the competition. We were one of those in line. Yesterday was the official first day and the winners will be revealed.
The show caters for all interested in honey, bees and beekeeping. There are trade stands selling beekeeping equipment, giftware and more. Lectures are timed throughout the day with restaurant facilities to relax and catch your breath. The halls are filled with hundreds of jars of gleaming honeys in amazing colours and textures. There are 252 entry classes ranging from comb honey, beeswax, decorative exhibits, practical invention, honey beer, meads, just far to many to name here. This event attracts the best beekeepers serious about competing. It’s no wonder we were sweating after we prepared and handed over our entries. All will be revealed shortly. Fingers crossed.
So make a beeline to this annual event not to be missed.
Thursday 29th October: Lectures and Restaurant – 09:00 – 18:00
Trade Show – 12:00 – 18:00, Honey Show – 14:00 – 18:00
Friday 30th October: Lectures, Restaurant, Trade Show and Honey Show – 09:00 – 18:00
Saturday 31st October: Lectures, Restaurant, Trade Show and Honey Show – 09:00 – 16:30
Daily admission £15.00 for non–members which can only be purchase at the show.
Purchase Membership £15.00 – members are entitled to FREE admission for all three days.
Accompanied children, 16 yrs and under, FREE.
The public can buy beekeeping equipment from the trade show located in the college’s sports hall and Woburn hall from 12:00 on Thursday 29th October 2015. The public have free admission to the trade show over the three days (see opening times).
The first ‘National Show of Bees & Honey’ was held in 1923 at the original Crystal Palace, Sydenham, London. There were no shows during the period of the Second World War. The show continues to be held each year in October.
The Crystal Palace Cup
The trustees of the Crystal Palace generously offered a cup for competition and the show was held annually at the Crystal Palace until 1936. Within a month of that show a fire completely destroyed our equipment and the whole building.
Then the class was for 12 sections, 12 jars each of light, medium, dark or granulated honey and 1lb of beeswax. By 1929 it was awarded to individuals and required 6 jars (in pairs of light, medium, dark or granulated) and 2 sections. In 1931 the class was altered again to 9 jars and 3 sections. The present class 4 was created in 1948 to jars (3 each of light, medium and naturally crystallised) and 1 shallow frame of honey for extraction.
The first winners of the cup in 1923 were Medway & County BKA (Kent). There have, however, been several notable winners of the cup who have taken it on more than one occasion. Whilst it was still an Association trophy until 1929, Gloucester BKA won it on three occasions in 1925/27. Individuals who have won it on three or more occasions include Wessex Apiaries (1947/9), John Sturdy (1962/4), John Read (4 times 1965/8), John Ramsey (1971/2 & 1974), Mr & Mrs Jim Orton (1976/7 & 1980).
The most outstanding winner to date is the late Mr Jim Watson of Warwickshire who won the cup on ten occasions, in 1973, 1975, 1981, and then for seven successive years 1983/89. Whether this achievement will ever be surpassed, we can only wait and see.
The prize money for the cup has been endowed in Jim’s memory for 25 years by the Warwickshire BKA.