BARRY GREY, national demonstrator for the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, came to a Henley town hall packed with
BARRY GREY, national demonstrator for the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, came to a Henley town hall packed with admirers.
Chairman Aurie Anderson and members of the Henley Flower Arrangement Society invited other clubs to this special evening and the response was good to say the least.
Special guests were Pat Collinson, incoming chairman of the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area of the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies, Jane Rowton-Lee, president of the Henley club and leader of the team that arranges the flowers for Westminster Abbey, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Henley, Stefan Gawrysiak and Catherine Allan-Notaras.
Barry began his working life in banking but eventually decided to expand his hobby of flower arranging into a career.
He retrained at the London School of Floristry and has since demonstrated all over the UK and Ireland.
He often worked on the east coast of Spain and he particularly enjoyed working and teaching in the Caribbean.
For 17 years he had his own school, concentrating mostly on contemporary flower design. Each year Barry decorates Gawsworth Hall, an Elizabethan manor house in Cheshire.
The evening began with a lovely poem and we were then treated to a description of the gorgeous flowers, including the up-and-coming Ecuadorian roses, which have a lovely perfume and wonderful life length. Barry went on to describe aspidistra leaves, which are grown using a computer.
This happens in Holland, Israel and Italy, where hydroculture vats are controlled by one man and a computer program which supplies light, air, humidity and food.
Barry continued with stories of his travels, including a much-loved visit to Shetland when five flower clubs made his visit possible.
In Kirkwall a traffic jam was caused by five cars at once and Barry found the largest Tesco store ever! Each arrangement was centred on a poem, which made quite a romantic theme.
A wonderful raffle at the end of the evening produced 22 prizes so the winners went home even more satisfied.