Monday 15 September 2008

Tottenham Flower Show, 2008

After all my proclaiming that a Tottenham Flower and Produce Show would be a very fine thing, if only someone would organise it, I find I’m behind the times. Someone has organised it. It started last year. Imagine my excitement. No more that 30 metres from my very own front door, September 13th, 2008, was the very flower show I yearned for, complete with tents, band, (wonderful Irish dance music), and tea tent.
The exhibition tent was THE BUSINESS. Packed to the eaves with enthusiastic citizens anxiously awaiting the announcement of the first prizes, the trestle tables fairly groaned under the weight of sponge cakes, loaves of bread, fruit pies, chutneys, jams, honey, knitted and crocheted items of many kinds, quilts, bunches of herbs. Eat yer hearts out sour-faced estate agents, police, taxi drivers and all you other miserable sods who always run Tottenham down at any opportunity! Come and see what we can make! There were donkey rides, a dog show and the paddling pool was clean and glistening for Tottenham’s youngsters. The tea tent was a bit small and understaffed, but the teas and cakes were the best I’ve had in years. Sorry Wootton, you were outclassed I’m afraid. We even had a broderie-anglaise table cloth for the communal trestle table. So there!

Urban or Rural?
If Wootton is really a suburb, what does this make Tottenham? Is it an urban village, is it also a suburb? I don’t think either description fits. To me, Tottenham feels like a small town which has somehow got itself muddled up with London. The show is in its infancy and has a few ‘teething problems’ – such as the too small tea tent - where are the WI when you need them? I have high hopes however. I suspect it will be a much bigger do twenty years from now. I’d like to see much more participation from some of Tottenham’s newer populations, such as the Kurdish ladies I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, who do the magnificent sewing. There is something about this kind of occasion that provides exactly the right context for craft, in the sense that it becomes ‘home craft’ again and, in an instant, all that craft agonising is removed.
So, in keeping with that spirit, the C Word is awarding ‘best in show’ again and, on this occasion, it goes to the woman who made the knitted shopping bag out of those beastly blue carrier bags that every corner shop uses – she’d knitted the bags together. BRILLIANT!!! I loved it. Pictures above. So that’s it for this summer. The C Word is back from holiday and open for business from now on.
See you very soon with a short comparative review of two shows which opened on September 11th, Richard Slee at Barratt Marsden, and Elspeth Owen at the Hart Gallery.