Mohawk floral display

Floristry Department Secure Top Prizes At Prestigious Show

East Durham college is celebrating after some impressive performances at one of Britain’s major floristry competitions.

Floristry staff and students from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus competed at this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show, returning with four awards including the coveted Best Student prize.

East Durham College Floristry lecturer Sue Lee said: “I am really proud of the team who competed at Harrogate this year.

“It can be a very daunting competition with thousands of visitors passing through the show to see your work, but everyone involved rose to the challenge (no pun intended) and produced some magnificent pieces.

Allan Ruby at Harrogate Flower Show Spring2017
Allan Ruby

Allan Raby, 49, from Thornaby, was the pick of the students, competing at his first Harrogate Flower Show, he won first prize in the Timeless Style category, where he had to depict a fashion era through his floral work.

Allan’s floral Mohawk design, representing the punk era, received top marks from the judges leading to him not only winning Gold in this category but also collecting the prestigious Harrogate Flower Show Best Student Award 2017.

But the awards didn’t stop there for East Durham College with Zoe Blythyn, 19, from Haswell, Hannah O’Connelley, 19, from Sherburn Hill, Caron Barnett, 50, from Wheatley Hill, and Holly Neave, 22, from Chester le Street, receiving silver for their decorative car ‘Floral Bonnet’ in the show’s student team competition.

And not to be outdone by her students, East Durham College floristry lecturer Rebecca Hough also entered one of the competitions at the show to create a bridal design, returning with a silver medal too.

Sue added: “I am absolutely delighted to see the students return from Harrogate with these awards.

“Huge congratulations must go to Allan who was competing at his first Harrogate Show, his hard work really shone through in the competition and he deserves the great accolade of best student.

“This has been a fantastic experience for the students involved and should stand as a huge confidence boost for their abilities going up against students from colleges across the country.”

For more information on courses in floristry at East Durham College’s Houghall campus, please visit the floristry section of the website or contact our student services team on 0191 375 4710.