Posted: 21/02/2014 at 22:20
Well today was the day. The first of a two day plant show at the RHS Halls in Westminster. In the past. The society has set aside Tuesday and Wednesdays for these London displays. This year has witnessed a change. This year it is Friday and Saturday.
I arrived close to midday. Wowee!. Folks were queuing to get in. Ah! made it. Now just a single checkpoint and ticket issue desk. The familiar scene. Fingers fumbling away at purses and wallets in search of membership cards. Found it. The member of staff then turns to the next in line. Membership card Madam. Oh' I'm with my friend. I'm not a member. Then the poor young lady behind the desk has to run through the rules and conditions. Glancing rearwards. There must have been aroud seventy others behind me, all waiting patiently. Well at least we hope so. Then past the check-point and I was in. Then having climed the few stairs.. There it was. The exhibition hall. Glimpses of many colours etc, but the mass of swarming bodies. Honestly. I have been attending the RHS London Shows for the past fifty-four years. Honestly, hand on heart etc. Mike has never seen so many people inside the hall. I know in retrospect that the Chelsea show can get very crowded. At Chelsea, at least one can toddle off along another route. However here in the hall. It reminded me of driving on the M25. In an emergency. There was no escape route. At one time. Visitors most often entered the hall, took a grandstand view from the stairs, and the proceeded to turn left and follow in an orderly manner around the displays. Please don't misunderstand me. It was in one respect such a marvellous site. All these lovely people, all sharing along with me, a great love and passion for plants. Sadly though. It really did appear and prove to be a matter of each one for him/herself. No I am not saying that there was actual pushing and shoving, but there was far too much added momentum shall we say. To be able to take photographs. I recall times when, one could comfortably compose a shot, and end up with a really good picture. Today. No way. Most of my camera shots. I had to set my Olympus DSLR to auto, hold the camera way above my head etc and click. I did on several occassions step back and beckon to others to cross my path. Thankfully this did bring forth some very pleasant smiles and thank you's. Then a few who were taking photos would smile and whisper. 'Sorry' as they realised perhaps they had become part of the picture.
Nevertheless. It was a very colourful show. For me, sadly. So many of the old faces amongst the exhibitors were no longer there.
In due respect. I do think that the society might need to examine this particular London Show. I wouldn't mind being on a committee to discuss the matter. From a H&S aspect. I do honestly think that perhaps some future measurs should be taken to avoid mishaps, and to help increase the joys and benefits of those visiting.
I will gladly share my photos on photobucket. Link to be announced.