Tips For Showing



The following tips and suggestions are what most competent judges will be looking for, but judging is an inexact science and judges will have personal likes and dislikes. Showing should however be fun and not a chore. Remember if the class asks for a certain number of items ,more or less will mean disqualification!


Each class of vegetable and fruit should as far as possible be the same size, shape and colour. Dirty, misshapen and damaged produce will be marked down.

Potatoes should be carefully washed, have shallow eyes & weigh about 170gm -225gm each. Green colouring will be marked down.

Carrots and Parsnips should have the full tap root (watering before removing from the soil helps) All earth gently washed off, leaf stalks cut to about 75mm and tied with raffia. Green colouring on the shoulders will be marked down.

Onions should be uniform in size & shape, well ripened, firm with a dry unbroken, unblemished skin. They should not be over skinned and green. Roots trimmed neatly and the tops trimmed and tied with raffia. Staged on rings to hold the position,(cardboard tubes i.e. used kitchen rolls cut down)

Runner beans should be straight, equal in length, some stalk attached , fresh, not course and stringy. The actual beans should not be overly prominent.

Tomatoes should be firm but fully ripe, unblemished, NOT polished and have the green calyx (stalk) attached.

Beetroots ideal size is a tennis ball, it should have its long tap root, be carefully washed, its leaf stalks trimmed to 75mm and neatly tied with raffia. Large woody beets will be marked down.

Courgettes should be fresh, 10 – 15 cm in length, uniform and no blemishes. 2 cm of stalk and flowers can be left on. Clean but NOT washed ( can affect the appearance)

Marrows should be even with a good colour all over, unblemished and 2cm of stalk attached.

Leeks should be washed with the soil teased from the roots which should NOT be cut off. Leaves should also NOT be cut but can be loosely tied with raffia in 1 or 2 places along the length. The leek should have a long white stem ,not be swollen at the base.

Apples  should be fresh with  stalks attached and NOT polished.

Flowers and the foliage should be clean, disease and insect damage free. choose a vase to suit the height of the stems. Good staging (presentation) is important.


Pay attention to instructions and recipes, particularly tin size. They should be well risen and even in shape and baking. Any fruit should be evenly distributed throughout the cake. A domed top with slight cracking is acceptable for a light fruit cake . NO cooling rack marks should be visible.


Clean jars, free from commercial trademarks with unmarked lids. All preserves should have small labels stating the main fruit, day, month and year of making.

Jams, Jellies & Marmalades, jars  should be filled to the brim to allow for shrinkage. Use a well fitting wax disc and cellophane for the top. Same for Lemon Curd.

Chutney should have a 1cm space between the contents and lid and the jar must have a new vinegar proof lid ,i.e. plastic lined twist lid. Chutney must be labelled and at least 2 months old.


A Jar of Lemon Curd

Delia Smith’s fresh lemon curd recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make.

A Jar of Marmalade

Did you know marmalade is a citrus jam made from the peel and juices of citrus fruits, sugar and water. The word marmalade comes from the Portuguese word, marmelada, which means quince jam.

A Jar of Jelly

So what’s the difference between a jam and a jelly???

Jams are made with the whole edible fruit while jelly contains only the juice.

A Jar of Chutney

Chutneys and pickles can be presented with a screw top lid. If you want to know the difference between a chutney and a pickle take a look here….

A Jar of Pickle

Pickles have been around since ancient times. According to some, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra claimed pickles made her beautiful.

Homemade Fudge

A Bottle of Flavoured Gin

There is no end to the possibilities …………………….…/guide/how-make-flavoured-gin

A Bottle of Elderflower Cordial The elderflowers will soon be out in abundance. Did you know that you can freeze them to use at a later date?

A Loaf of Bread – handmade

A Focaccia or Flavoured Bread

A Harvest Sheaf

This is a new class in the Baking section.

Three Oven Scones – FRUIT

This year we are having separate classes for fruit and savoury scones.

Three Oven Scones – SAVOURY

Shortbread – to be shown whole. According to English Tea, in Shetland a decorated shortbread was traditionally broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.

Three Biscuits -SWEET

Have you got a sweet tooth? What’s your favourite biscuit?

Three Biscuits- Savoury

This is another new class for this year’s show.

Here’s a really easy recipe with only 3 ingredients.

Three Pieces of Chocolate Brownies

Victoria Sandwich Cake baked in two tins, jam filling and sugar dusting

Chocolate Cake – ICED

The Guy Comber Trophy is awarded to the winner of this class.

A Cake with a Vegetable Ingredient

The vegetable(s)used to make the cake must be named.

Last year we had chocolate beetroot, carrot, courgette and walnut, pumpkin and potato cakes. All delicious I’m sure.

A Plain Gingerbread- 2lb loaf

Banana Cake

This is the easiest banana cake, ever!…/easiest_ever_banana_cake_42108

Rich Fruit Cake

According to……….…/health-benefits-of…

there are several health benefits to eating fruit cake.

Three Sausage Rolls

Some nutrition facts about the King of Sausage Rolls…/sausage-roll/1-sausage-roll

A Savoury Quiche

A Pizza, any flavour -max 8 inches

A Lemon Drizzle Cake

A Cheesecake

A Dessert in a Glass

This is another new class for this year’s show.


36- A Traditional Willow basket

37- A Basket made from any Fibre

38- An Artistic basket

A Hand knit Article- up to 4 ply

Hand Knitted Article -Double Knit, Arran or Chunky

A Piece of Needle Felting



Tapestry on Canvas

Pram or Cot Cover – any medium

Rag Rug – small

Soft Toy

Dressed Doll

Machine Sewn Article

A Model any Material

A Decorated Parcel for Christmas – max 9″ square

A Handmade Article form Recycled material

A Handmade Card

Art Section

Pencil Drawing- lead pencil

Thank you to Dave Dyer for the photographs.

Art Section

A painting in Water colours

A Painting in Pastels

A Painting in Acrylics

A Picture in any other medium


Subject beginning with ‘H’



A Black and White print of a Northumberland scene

must be unmounted and max 8″ X 6″

A Photograph max 8″ X 6″ mounted

A Photograph over 8″ X 6″ mounted

Flower Arranging

Horticultural Section

There are some great tips on how to present your fruit, vegetable and flowers at …………/

Three Blooms of Chrysanthemum

Tip: Look out for pests – gently shake flowers to dislodge flea beetles or place them near a white background to encourage them out. Greenfly infestations can be brushed off stems with a soft paintbrush.

Vase of Spray Chrysanthemums – arranged for effect


If anything is less than perfect don’t display it no matter how proud you are of it. Wilting leaves, marked or blighted veg and dying petals will all lose you points.

Pelargonium white max pot size 8”

Tip: Don’t enter too many classes. It takes a long time to gather, inspect, choose and stage each exhibit well.

Pelargonium coloured max pot size 8”

There are 3 classes for roses in this years’ show. – 3 Specimen Blooms of Roses; Roses 3 Stem Clustered Flowers – any type; One Single Rose (For Bob Martin Bud Vase)