THE NATIONAL HONEY SHOW AND ENGLAND
I wanted to share a bit more of our trip to England with you. Leaving my own country was not something I ever contemplated as a younger woman, and now we have been lucky enough to travel to England several times. Most of the trips have been to The National Honey Show or other bee events going on, but one trip was just for fun a couple of years ago. It’s a trip worth making if you ever get the opportunity.
The National Honey Show happens each year in October and as soon as the dates are published for 2018 I’ll be letting you know so you can make your plans.
Kim and I over the years have both been invited to speak at the National and that is always a humbling experience. There is at least one, and most years two, U.S. speakers at the Show. They welcome our experiences and knowledge that sometimes are different than theirs.
The venue for the last two or three years has been at Sandown Race Track and Lodge. I had never been to a race track before. The Show has moved at least four times since we have been attending. But this location is beautiful and seems to have everything they need.
The National Honey Show is the largest honey show that I’ve ever seen. I know that a lot of years ago we had huge shows here in the states, but that doesn’t seem to happen on this scale today.
The judges take their jobs very seriously and some of the ways of judging are very different than ours. The rules are posted on their web site if you want to take a look, and take up pages and pages in their program book. On a couple of our trips Kim and I were invited to be stewards for the judges. That was quite an experience. The displays are gorgeous and so professionally presented and just go on and on as you can see in some of the photos. There were hundreds of entries, I’m told this was the biggest show they’ve ever had.
When the National Honey Show first started it was just the honey show. After some years they added exhibitors, and then speakers so it’s a three-day event now with probably 50 exhibitors. The trade show room was big and roomy and easy to get around. Everything was in one building which always just makes it easier for folks. There was a small lodge right there on the property, but also several hotels close by. And restaurants galore within walking distance of the racetrack and lodge.
When we make these trips we try to take a few days either before or after to see some of the sites. There is so much history to this country. I’m amazed every time we go. And, it’s a lot of our own history. And aside from the long plane ride it’s a fairly easy trip. England has an amazing train and underground system. You can go just about anywhere on the train – which I love because I would never master the whole driving on the left thing. That scares me, a lot. When we’re with friends I just sit in the back and look out the side windows.
Kim and I have been fortunate to make several lasting friendships there. Ruth and Jeremy Burbidge of Northern Bee Books, have become dear friends. So we always try and spend a few days with them. And Jeremy is kind enough to take time out of his busy day to take us around to see something that we haven’t seen before. He knows that I have a love for the amazing cathedrals and the last few trips he has taken us to different ones each time.
This time we visited the Lincoln Cathedral and the Halifax Minster, a protestant church. These are churches that have been around for hundreds of years and still have church services every Sunday. I believe it was the Halifax Minster that is open for some time everyday, so people can just come and be there – to pray, to just have quiet time or to get out of the weather if you don’t have any other place to go to.
On this trip we also visited the Halifax Piece Hall. Check out the photo. This was a wholesale market built sometime in the 1700s – there is a bit of confusion on the exact date and exactly who designed it. It was aboslutely amazing though. It is a huge building surrounding an open courtyard and people would bring their items to sell. You can see in the picture all of the different ‘compartments’ where each seller would set up their wares. Today they are in the process of a huge rennovation turning it into a modern day shopping venue. There are some shops already set up – coffee shop, candy store, art shops, a pub, boutiques – it will be amazing once it’s complete.
This is our first 2018 issue starting year 146. Wow! As we prepare this issue it’s still 2017, so one last time we want to wish you a Peaceful and Joyful Christmas and New Year. We appreciate your loyalty and hang on because we’ve got some exciting things coming up here at Bee Culture in 2018. We hope to see many of you at the ABF meeting in January in Reno.
As we head into Winter – snow is in our forecast and some bitter cold – it’s a good time to read those new books that are out there, look at all of the new catalogs that will be arriving soon – as well as those seed catalogs and start now to get ready for Spring. We hope you enjoy this issue and your 2018 calendar.