Celebrating over 60 years of cultivating knowledge and friendship


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Mid Devon Show Planning Meeting

A meeting will be held on Monday 11th May at 7pm at The A Room at the Royal British Legion Club, Angel Hill to plan the Club's exhibit at this year's Mid Devon Show which is due to held on Saturday 25th July.

The theme of this year's show is Sustainable Energy. Any member wishing to help is welcome to come along to the meeting.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

April Talk

On a warm sunny spring evening, our speaker was Karen Dutton from The Met Office. Karen explained that her talk would cover a short history of The Met Office, how the business works and a discussion on climate change. She began working for the Met Office 22 years ago as a support scientist.

The Met Office was the brain child of Admiral Fitzroy and it was founded originally in 1854. It was in 1919 when Lewis Fry Richardson began forecasting in using mathematical equations. In 1964 it was an agendy under the Air Ministry and then the Ministry of Defence. In 1990 it became a Next Steps agency, a step away from government ties. In 1996 it began trading almost independently and in 2003 it moved to its current location in Exeter. It was the largest IT move in Europe and it came in on time and on budget.

She carefully explained what was need to do a weather forecast. On a daily basis the Met Office processes data of 10 million observations and 100,000 million bits of data. A computer was first used in 1964 and the current one has just been upgraded so it will process in 20 minutes what the capacity of a home computer would take 5 years to process..... This is now what is needed for forecasting and provide more local weather systems.

It is the world's leading centre for predicting climate change. Its customers include the Ministry of Defence; The Cabinet Office for emergency response and the Civil Aviation Authority. It provides reports to local government agencies to help with winter road maintenance; for offshore exploration; the energy industry; the water industry and environment agency.

They are now working closely with a new department of the Environmental Agency to provide data for flood defences to help with the national infrastructure of the country to run efficiently.

It has ties with the Department of Health to detect heat and cold spells to help with patients health.

Energy demands fluctuate depending on the weather so it works closely with the National Grid.

One of our members, Colin Cochrane had emailed The Met Office regarding TV forecasting and the time given to national and local TV weather slots. Karen kindly gave a personal response explaining about the different business models of the various TV stations.

Finally she explained about climate change. The change being a long term change and it was 90% "our" fault. It had been noted that lawns were being cut two weeks earlier than in the 1990's and this is just one of the indicators of change. Globally there had been observed increases in temperatures. Finally she said the temperatures seen in the long hot summer of 2003 would become the norm by 2040.

Her final comment and slide revealed that forecasting the weather was like driving a car backwards being directed by someone looking out the back window.

Several members asked Karen varied questions and included short lessons in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

More Lanhydrock Photos

A view from the woodland walk

Beautiful blossom surrounding the church

The tulips in the formal gardens to the side of the house.
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Garden Visit to Lanhydrock

The first visit of 2009 was to Lanhydrock House and Gardens, near Bodmin, Cornwall. A full coach took new and exisiting members was a great success. The beautiful spring National Trust gardens were at their best.

Lanhydrock was the home of the Agar-Robartes family until 1969. After a fire in 1881 the Jacobean house was refashioned to create a Victorian home with the latest technology.

Tours leader Monica with members

The gardens were planned by George Truefitt in 1854. They surround the house and provide colour all year round but in spring a magnificent display of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias fill the air with fragrance.

The estate covers 900 acres and is a romantic pastorial backdrop to the house and there are many footpaths to explore in the woodlands.

One of the magnolias in full bloom.

Val Diggle on one of the scooters available for the disabled to use.

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Sunday, 5 April 2009

Spring Flower Show results

The Tiverton Garden Club Spring Flower Show on Saturday at The New Hall was very well supported by new and old members. The spring blooms gave a fragrant and colourful display for the many visitors.

Show Secretary Maggie Roberts with Judges and some of the Committee

Overall view of the hall

Jubilee Class exhibits

Pot Plant Classes

Shrubs & Trees section Classes
Decorative Classes

Cut Flowers - narcissi

The results were as follows:

In the Decorative Section the principal prize-winners were Ros Nichols, Christine Moore, Mary Wilson and Rachael Hart. Christine Moore won the Award of Merit for her ‘Spring Green’ exhibit.
Christine Moore with her winning Spring Green exhibit

Rachael Hart won the special award for the novice class ‘A petite arrangement in an egg cup’.

Rachael Hart's winning exhibit

The winners in the Children’s’ Sections were Paige Nichols and Jessica Ridgeway with their arrangements in a Child's Wellie Boot.

In the Cut Flowers Section the principal prize-winners were Alby Berry, Mike Long, Rachael Hart, Roger Pike, Stephanie Sporne, Angela Moore, Ros Pike, Mary Smith and Margaret Grose with Margaret Grose winning the Award of Merit for a vase of small cupped narcissi.

Margaret Grose with her winning narcissi

In the Shrubs and Trees Section the principal prize-winners were Angela Moore, Mary Coles and Ann Crawford and Jean Webb with Jean Webb winning the Award of Merit for three camellias.

Jean Webb with her winning camellias

In the Pot Plant Section the principal prize-winners were Ann Steer, Mike Long, Sue Gollop. Stephanie Sporne and Mary Coles with Mike Long winning the Award of Merit for an azalea.

Mike Long with his winning azalea

The Members Competition for a pot of Minnow narcissi, provided by the Club, was won by Rachael Hart who won the Sue Gollop Trophy.

Rachael Hart with her winning Minnow's

In the Photography Section the principal prize-winners were John Mears, Margaret Grose and Jenny Blake with Margaret Grose, winning the Award of Merit with her photo of ‘Spring has Sprung’.

Margaret Grose's winning photo

Finally, the Jubilee Class was won by Tim Nichols with 24 points for a collection including a flower arrangement, a vase of pansies and a photograph. Second was Ros Nichols and third was Maggie Roberts.

The Committee would like to thank the judges, Chad & Ann Stone and Fred Willitts for their time and hard work and all the helpers and exhibitors – new and old - for a top quality show.

Refreshments were served by Sue Sharpin & Doreen Long;

Thursday, 2 April 2009

March Talk by Gavin Haig

The speaker for the March meeting was local surgeon Gavin Haig who gave an illustrated talk on the "Celebration of Trees, Birds, Hedgerows and Butterflies" with slides taken at his Spillifords, river side garden.

A large group of members and friends were treated to an informative talk about how humans need nature to achieve a well balanced lifestyle. He discussed many plants which give the basis of treatments for various ailments, including the benefits of stinging nettles.

He explained how he believed that Devon is a stunning county with loveliness all around, if we just looked around us. He showed photos of trees, nest boxes and birds accompanied by bird song on tape. He showed many varieties of butterfly and their food supply in the woodland margin of his 4 acre wildlife garden, which he opens as part of the National Garden Scheme.

He showed photos of flowers growing in hedgerows and explained how the Devon hedgerow is home to many wildlife homes. He developed a picture of Trees, Hedgerows, Birds & Butterflies which played a big part visually as we bonded with nature.