When 14-year-old Ivor Davies started carrying tea to workers at the Shrewsbury Flower Show, little did he know 71 years later his family would still be working on the event every summer.
As preparations continue for the 131st annual show, once again the Davies family will be at the helm of building everything inside of each and every marquee in The Quarry and anything else across the show too!
The contractors arrive first and put up the marquees and then the Davies family get to work.
Brothers Richard and Andy, and Richard’s son Nick, have taken over the role from their father who first worked on the event in 1947.
Having visited as a five-year-old boy, Ivor was inspired by the event and later took a job carrying tea to the workers in The Quarry before his career as a builder enabled him to take up the role at Shrewsbury Flower Show.
In 2007, Ivor was asked on stage with the show’s chairman to be saluted and congratulated on 60 years of service, and he went on to work on a further six shows before he sadly passed away.
Continuing their father’s legacy, Richard and Andy have now worked on building the displays within the marquees together for more than 40 summers, and this year is no different.
Richard recalls: “Perhaps fitting in a World Cup year, one of my earliest memories is of 1966 and as an eight-year-old begging Park Drive cigarette packets from the workmen putting up the huge stage so I could collect the football cards!
“Our team now is a mix of youth and experience, it’s very much a family thing, we have young men from local schools and colleges including Shrewsbury School, many of their fathers were ‘show boys’ before them; and it’s lovely to have key men such as Jimmy Llewellyn Roberts, Nathan Bowen and Dave Doster returning each year.”
For Richard, one of the most memorable shows was the centenary events in 1987 when Concorde flew so low over the showground ‘I swear you could actually see the camera flashes of the passengers!’
“From a personal point of view, nothing compares with the sensation of walking through the floral marquees at 5am on show morning with the anticipation of the day ahead and the intoxicating smell of the freshly watered blooms glistening under the lighting.
“And of course you cannot end without mentioning the amazing fireworks, a legend in their own right.”
This year’s show takes place on Friday and Saturday, August 10th and 11th, with a packed programme including celebrity gardeners Chris Beardshaw and Penny Meadmore, star chefs Levi Roots and Matt Tebbutt, floral displays, entertainment and more.
Visit https://shrewsburyflowershow.org.uk/ for more information or to buy advanced tickets.