Award-winning exhibit set to be unveiled at the Chorley Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 09:22 27 July 2015

Chorley Council britain in Bloom Finalist Astley Park

Chorley Council britain in Bloom Finalist Astley Park

Martin Birchall photography

Chorley is set to make a big impact on the gardening world with a major new flower show expected to attract thousands of visitors

Astley Hall and fountainAstley Hall and fountain

PEOPLE are being encouraged to make history and take part in Chorley’s first ever flower show to be held in the historic grounds of Astley Hall and Park.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the inaugural event, which will feature the unveiling of Chorley’s award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, ‘The Evaders’ Garden’.

A top line up of gardening and horticultural entertainment is planned for the Chorley Council-run show, with tickets already flying out.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: ‘We’ve built a brilliant reputation in Chorley for our floral displays and there is a real appetite for a show of this type as we build Chorley into one of the up and coming visitor destinations in the North West.

Paintings being mounted for the flower show exhibiton at Astley HallPaintings being mounted for the flower show exhibiton at Astley Hall

‘We’ve worked carefully with horticultural organisations to ensure that the show focuses on the floral displays and gardening and it’s an exciting new venture set in a new location that will really make for a fantastic day out.

‘We’ve attracted 16 of the top exhibitors in the country and judging by the attention it received on national television at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show it will be a unique opportunity to see The Evaders’ Garden unveiled in its permanent home and hear the tale behind it from the designer.’

Visitors from across the globe were brought to tears by the emotional story of selfless bravery told through the exhibit, which was created by Chorley designer John Everiss, on behalf of Chorley Council.

It tells the story of his father’s journey after being shot down over France during the Second World War and wowed many visitors at the world’s premier horticultural event with many saying it was the best thing they’d ever seen at the show.

The show also offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see paintings at the Grade II listed Astley Hall, up close, with the landmark attraction decked out in floral displays.

Paintings relating to the hall’s long and colourful history will be mounted at eye level before being returned to their usual elevated position after the on-going conservation work is complete.

‘We are seeing record numbers of people to Astley Hall and Park and last year we had more than 250,000 visit,’ said Councillor Bradley.

‘It’s now becoming one of the best attractions in the North West and events like the flower show will help people to put it on the map and we’ll see people coming back to Chorley, which in turn will boost the local economy.’

The event itself, held on August 1 and 2, will include a fantastic array of attractions and also includes:

• A professional exhibitors’ marquee featuring gold-medal winning entrants from some of the country’s biggest shows

• Meet celebrity gardeners David Domoney, of the most watched gardening programme on television Love Your Garden, and organic expert Bob Flowerdew who has been a panel member on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time for over 20 years

• Horticultural trade stands offering the best quality in garden products

• An amateur marquee incorporating flower and pot plant classes and floral art – you can enter yourself at chorley.gov.uk

• Enjoy a picnic on the beautiful lawns with plenty of entertainment throughout the day including a vintage fair and a 50ft helter-skelter, Fifi and Bumble with their ‘Rock with the Tots’ show and appearances by Alex from Cbeebies

‘The showground is in Astley Park, the former location of the Royal Lancashire Show, just minutes from the M6, M61 and M65 motorways with free parking on the day,’ said Councillor Bradley.

‘As it’s a new show we’ve kept ticket prices low – adults are just £4 and children £2 – and as you can see it promises to be a fantastic weekend.’ w

For more information visit chorley.gov.uk where you can buy tickets now, or contact the council on 01257 515151.

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