Our May meeting was a very special occasion. Marking 50 years since club had been formed in 1969, the evening consisted of a Golden Anniversary celebration.
Remaining founder members were invited, though sadly some were unable to attend through infirmity or distance. Nonetheless, they were in our thoughts as were those who had passed on.
It was a pleasure to welcome June Borrowdale, Chairman of North Midlands Area of NAFAS, along with her husband. Later she ceremonially cut the Anniversary cake in conjunction with our club Chairman.
We also received a congratulatory card from NAFAS Headquarters in London.
The event began with a buffet planned and prepared by a member whose career was in professional catering. The table looked lovely; the wide variety of foods delicious. The celebratory cake was elegantly decorated with an inscription plus swathe of gold sugar-paste roses, washed down with a glass of ‘Fizz’.
Highlight of the evening was a magnificent floral demonstration by Lee Berrill, a highly experienced professional florist and NAFAS Area Demonstrator from Northamptonshire.
Lee has demonstrated for us before, and always puts on an excellent display of floral art accompanied by terrific banter with the audience, educating as well as entertaining. In this instance, he managed to surpass his usual high standards by providing an enthralling demonstration which had an audience of members and visitors transfixed.
With a title of ‘Celebrations’, the first design depicted a gateway to a golden garden. Two asymmetric arrangements in yellow, red and gold sat above and below a wooden gate onto which the number 50 had been placed, intricately covered in a variety of dried berries, cones and seed heads, over-wrapped with gold beads.
A ‘Tin’ (10th) anniversary was portrayed by twin vertical designs using white lilies and delphinium, plus silver palm swathes, placed on top of large upturned conical metal vases. Tall curved structures in-filled with fabrics and edged with diamante provided additional height and texture.
A ‘China’ (20th) interpretation followed. Again in two parts, flowers in shades of blue and mauve filled semi-crescent designs on top of vertical blue stands, onto which Willow Pattern china plates were hung.
Shades of pink and white represented ‘Pearl’ (30th), where mirror-image arrangements including gerbera, lilies and stocks sat above and below a hooped frame. Each had an imitation oyster clam at its centre, containing a small sphere layered with leaves and beads. Both placements were linked by a shower of pearl beads on wires.
For Ruby (40th), the design was highly contemporary. Two woven spheres in red and black hung from a very high frame, each topped with a floral design. Below them a large undulating base of red wool intersected by a swag containing red roses, carnation, and anthurium.
Finally, Lee created a traditional pedestal in gold and golden yellow set in a large brass urn. On the floor beside stood a tall, ornate brass candlestick complete with matching wreath ring. The stage looked stunning. It was the perfect end to a wonderful 50th Anniversary celebration.