Memory of Alison to blossom at show

The new trophy for Best Floral Artist being given to Coun Glynis Barrie by Don Williams, the brother of Alison Best for the forthcoming annual Health and Horticulture Show.
The new trophy for Best Floral Artist being given to Coun Glynis Barrie by Don Williams, the brother of Alison Best for the forthcoming annual Health and Horticulture Show.

A NEW trophy will be presented this weekend in memory of a local artist.

The specially commissioned glass vase in memory of Alison Best will be one of the prizes on offer at this weekend’s Horticultural and Health Show.

Alison’s brother Don Williams presented it to North Tyneside Council on Monday, and it will be given to the winner of a new category – Best Floral Artist – at the competition, now in its sixth year.

Alison was well known in the region as a contemporary flower and plant artist, contributing work to the popular show.

The focus of her work was the natural world, while she also worked closely with Alnwick Garden on a design project, and together with Don co-wrote and illustrated a children’s book, Monkey Business in the Tree House.

Twice Alison had her work exhibited at the show, in 2008 and 2010, along with Iain Duncan.

But following a long period of ill health, Alison died last November at the age of 57.

Don said: “Talented, gentle and determined, she was an amazing artist and a valued friend to the arts in North Tyneside.”

This year’s show will take place at the Parks Sports Centre in North Shields from 1.15pm to 5.15pm on Saturday, and from 10.30am to 3pm on Sunday.

A total of ten trophies will be presented across a range of categories including best pot leek, best onion, best fruit and vegetables, best flowers, best novice, best allotment association display, best cookery/home craft entry, best sugar craft entry, best children’s entry, and best floral art display.

Mike Brannigan, the council’s allotment officer, said: “Last year’s show was a big success.

“We had a wonderful array of exhibits that showed the region’s exceptional talents in cookery and crafts.

“And with the addition of the Best Floral Artist category, we hope to get more people involved, from novices to experts.

“The event is a fantastic occasion that really highlights the region’s love for their gardens.”