Now, I’m a relative newbie to this scene; I’m imported from the UK, for a start, and we’ve only lived ‘out west’ for the last five years, so we’re pretty insignificant in this neck of the woods.
Let’s be clear. The West Show is a BIG DEAL. It’s also a whole lot of fun. The summer holidays just wouldn’t be the same without it, and I’m proud to have taken part in our own little way since the kids have been at the local school.
The Junior Classes are in age categories – under 7 years, 7 years and under 10 years and 10 years and under 16 years and they cover all sorts of arts, crafts, growing and baking – anything from the Model Garden of Plants arranged in a box to a Painted Galôt (pebble), a Collage or the enigmatic Five Queen Cakes (I had to Google that one, and I’m a baking obsessive).
In recent summer hols, we’ve had fun tinkering around with the model gardens and painted pebbles but, I have to admit, on arriving in the tent on set-up night, we have been blown away by the ambitious standards of the other competitors. I think the kids will have to up the ante this year. Not that we’re competitive, of course.
If you are, however, of a competitive nature, there are all sorts of tactics you could employ to ensure your child has the best chance of securing a first, second or third prize or – better still – a trophy! One friend is considering the Marrow, by Weight, category as it’s under-represented. I’m considering An Article Made from Recycled Materials.
For the uninitiated (i.e. those who weren’t brought up on this delightful tradition), there’s a procedure to follow too, which goes something like this:
Make sure you live in one of the western parishes – St Saviour, Torteval or St Pierre du Bois.
Get hold of your West Show Schedule (see pic).
Purchase your West Show Annual Membership Card(s).
Complete your entry forms (in said Schedule) – for tent exhibits (that means all the stuff I’ve been describing) and separate ones if you’re entering (actual) fur and feather. Separate forms for Adult and Junior.
OK, once you’ve done that, make a date in your diary for SATURDAY 12TH AUGUST, 3-7pm… Because you have to go, in person, to the Parish Hall in St Peter’s and queue, with your forms, and your membership card numbers and your pennies – 20p per Junior entry (unlimited entries per person, but only one per class). If you miss this appointment, you’ve had it.
Keep the kids (really) busy with their entries.
There’s more rules about when and how you need to stage your exhibit and collect it afterwards, but I think I’ll leave that for another post.