Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Catwalk dazzles at House & Garden Show

THOUSANDS of people attended the second annual Henley House and Garden Show

THOUSANDS of people attended the second annual Henley House and Garden Show.

Residents and visitors made the most of the sunny weather to visit the show in the town centre on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 60 traders had stalls in a large marquee in Market Place, showing art, sculptures, furniture, homewares and decorations with more in the town hall.

There were also workshops at the Henley 60+ Social Club and King’s Arms Barn.

The event was opened on each day by members of Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and the Phyllis Court Singers while Natalie Gauci, winner of Australian Idol in 2007, performed on Saturday evening.

There were talks by show founder Niki Schafer, gardener Tamsin Borlase, of Bosley Patch in Swiss Farm, designer Lynne Lambourne, Julia Kendell, an interior designer from DIY SOS, and the programme’s presenter Nick Knowles.

Knowles, 53, spent most of Sunday afternoon talking to exhibitors and having his picture taken with visitors.

He said: “It’s a great show — there’s so much creativity and companies doing interesting things. Henley is a beautiful place, too, so it’s very inspiring.”

The popular fashion show returned on Saturday night, raising money for the multi-sensory room at the Chiltern Centre for disabled children.

It was compered by radio presenter Mike Read and the models included Olympic sportsmen, local celebrities and business owners who each paraded down the marquee with an item of furniture or artwork from the show.

Henley Mayor Lorraine Hillier wore a floral headpiece by Jo Wise, of Floral Circus in Benson, and a dress decorated with illustrations of houses, while carrying a teapot from her tearoom, Upstairs and Downstairs.

She said: “Seeing as it’s the House and Garden show, I thought I’d wear a dress with houses on it and a headpiece which looks like a garden!”

Town councillor David Eggleton, dressed in a hi-vis vest and aviator sunglasses, wheeled his Triumph Bonneville motorcycle down the catwalk while former Olympic rower Toby Garbett carried a signed blade and a rug and was accompanied by his five-month-old daughter Beatrice.

Garbett said: “It was outside my comfort zone so I was just trying to think of the charity and nothing else. I thought if I brought Beatrice with me she might take the attention off me a bit.”

Ms Kendell carried a framed photo by Jo Scott Images, while Mrs Schafer wore a sombrero-style hat made from carpet by Floor Store and was joined by 10-year-old Emily Dimmestol, who was wearing a carpet waistcoat.

Henley shopkeepers Laurence Morris and Gillian Nahum each carried a stool by Get Furnished.

Model and TV personality Calum Best, who recently opened a gym off Marlow Road, carried a barbell while his mother Angie modelled a pink poncho by the Indian Garden Company.

Best said: “It was another opportunity for me and my mother to be part of the Henley community. I like Henley a lot and I’m getting in with the right people!”

Volunteers John Carr and Amelia Ash carried a painting made by youngsters at the Chiltern Centre and Connect 2 Colour that will be auctioned later this month. After the show, Read said: “It’s nice that people like Calum and Angie came along to support the show. Calum is a model and people don’t realise that it can be very difficult.

“Some towns struggle to get anyone at events like this so it’s nice to see people pulling together and being supportive.”

Rob Heginbotham, former director of rugby at Henley Hawks, was the announcer, dressed in a red and yellow pinstriped blazer and pink boater-style hat.

He introduced guests and events and led a rendition of Happy Birthday to Henley resident Connie Butt.

Chef Shaun Dickens, who runs the Boathouse restaurant in Station Road, gave cooking exhibitions.

Mrs Schafer said: “The show is starting to establish itself. Last year people came along because they wondered what it was but this year they have come back specifically interested in certain products and services.

“I wanted it to entertain people and for people to come and support the charity. We had a stream of people and everyone seemed genuinely pleased to be here.

“Now I need to have a think about next year.”

Event manager Tracey Pryce added: “Everybody seemed so happy, positive and enthusiastic.”

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