Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Video: Home and Garden show a success

THE first ever Henley House and Garden Show has been hailed a success.

THE first ever Henley House and Garden Show has been hailed a success.

Click here to watch our video of the event.

Thousands of people attended the two-day event which took place at several venues in the town centre at the weekend and involved more than 50 traders.

Organiser Niki Schäfer, an interior designer, of Walton Avenue, Henley, says she would now like the show to become an annual event.

A large marquee was erected in Market Place where businesses displayed art and sculptures, indoor and outdoor furniture, decorations, tiling, flooring and other luxury goods.

There were more stalls in the town hall and talks by guest speakers, including interior designer Julia Kendell, who has appeared on the BBC?s DIY SOS and ITV?s 60 Minute Makeover. Nick Knowles, the presenter of DIY SOS, was due to appear but had to pull out due to filming commitments.

One of the highlights of the show was a fashion show in the marquee on Saturday evening in aid of the Chiltern Centre for disabled children.

It was compered by BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Mike Read, who lives in Henley, while the models include local personalities and sports men and women.

They included Mayor Martin Akehurst, who was draped in a Turkish rug from Hali Hali, of Dunsden.

Read told the spectators: ?It?s a slightly bohemian look but it goes well with his trousers. I?m sure that will be worn in the Mayor?s parlour next week!?

Ms Kendell took to the stage with flowers and two silk cushions donated by Life At Nettlebed. Read urged her to slow down as she walked, saying she was ?like Usain Bolt?.

The presenter replied: ?I?m really sorry ? I?m just pleased I didn?t do a Madonna and fall over!?

Former GB skier Graham Bell, who lives in New Street, Henley, stepped out in full skiing gear, including a hat, snow visor and gloves. He carried a designer bath tap by Outhouse Bathrooms, also from Dunsden.

Lady McAlpine, of Fawley Hill, walked with an abstract painting made by young people at the Chiltern Centre in Greys Road.

She was accompanied by Sally Webb, director of community art project Connect 2 Colour, who helped the youngsters to create it.

The work featured splashes of multi-coloured paint on a white block canvas in the style of Jackson Pollock. Read began auctioning it but bids did not reach the minimum required figure of £500 so buyers are now being invited to make offers directly to the centre.

Ms Kendell, who used to live in Henley, gave a talk on Saturday afternoon about trends in kitchen design and making the best use of space.

Afterwards, she said: ?It?s amazing to see so many people here. The fact that the show is so well attended is a testament to all the effort that has gone into organising it. It?s brilliant for a first year and I look forward to coming back for year two.?

The Old Fire Station Gallery in hosted workshops on restoring or ?upcycling? old furniture and art. These were hosted by Lynne Lambourne, of Henley design company Love Nellie, and High Wycombe firm Out Of The Dark.

Visitors could also follow a ?design trail? around the town centre which almost 40 businesses participated in.

Mrs Schäfer said she couldn?t believe how well the show went.

?We had several thousand visitors on what is ordinarily quite a dull late February weekend,? she said. ?The show brought a lot of chatter, fun and inspiration so it achieved what I wanted.

?The exhibitors are delighted, the sponsors are really happy and I?m genuinely thrilled. There were so many amazing things on display and some stallholders had sold items before the show had even officially opened. The fashion show was hilarious. It was just one of those crazy ideas and I wasn?t sure whether it would work but the Henley celebrities pulled themselves together beautifully with Mike Read?s direction. Everyone was fantastic and it was really, really fun.

?I?m being asked a lot about next year so I have to sit and think about how and if it would work a second time. We need to think about how it can grow given the layout of Henley and what other people want from it.?

Click here to see more photographs of the event.

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