Gold Medal Presented By Mayor Of Gateshead

A team of students struck gold at the recent Gateshead Summer Flower Show, when they won the Gold Medal for the Best Horticultural College Exhibit.

The grounds of Gateshead Central Nursery at Lobley Hill were transformed for the 20th annual event, which is one of the biggest flower shows in the UK. Around 150 traders had come from all over the country to sell everything from delicate craftwork to garden implements and more than 600 amateur exhibitors competed in categories ranging from garden vegetables to exotic floral art displays.

The students’ stunning five-meter by five-meter garden including a miniature golf course, leek trench, raised seasonal bedding display, floral arch, patio area and water feature caught the judges’ eye. Mr Beckwith, who has been involved in all except two of the shows since the event was launched in 1991, added: “It was exceptional and in my opinion is the best education exhibit we have ever had.”

The Mayor and Mayoress were taken on a full tour of East Durham College’s Houghall Campus and given a history lesson on the land and surroundings before the prize giving ceremony.

The Mayor, Councillor Michael Hood said: “I have come down to Houghall College today, not because I was invited, in fact, I invited myself while judging at the Gateshead Flower Show two weeks ago. I was so impressed with the beautiful display these young men put together, I wanted to come down and reward the participants with their awards in person. What a fantastic achievement!

“Thank you very much for having us, it’s been a pleasure. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, learning about the interesting history of Houghall.” Turning to look at Stuart Wesselby, Principal and Chief Executive Officer at the college, Councillor Michael Hood said: “you have some amazing staff here”.

Stuart Commented “Well done, this is a great achievement and you are a credit to this college. I would like to take this opportunity to tell people that Houghall College is very much on the map and winning prestigious awards like this one”.

The winning team was made up of seven Work Based Learning Apprentices from the College who are completing the Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture and one from the Level 2 Diploma in Greenkeeping.

The winning team were Christopher Raine, 16, from Sherburn Village Durham, Graig McCormick, 17, from Ferryhill, Jordan Patterson, 17, from Tow Law, Adam Birks, 18, from Gilesgate Durham, Liam Anthony, 19, from Gilesgate Durham, Paul Watson, 18, from Ushaw Moor Durham, Kallum Anderson, 19, from Bishop Auckland and Daniel Johnson, 17, from Plawsworth Durham.

The students worked exceptionally hard to build the garden in just three days.  Alan McManus, a Horticultural Tutor/Assessor at East Durham College said: “The students showed professionalism beyond their years; I couldn’t believe that learners of that age could build a garden of such a high standard, they were a credit to the College.

Learner Christopher Raine commented: “It was a great experience. I really enjoyed building the garden from scratch and it was great to see it finished in 3 days. I got the chance to build the raised beds, plant some bedding, plant the leeks and lay the turf for the golf green. All of the lads were really chuffed that we got a gold medal.”

Upwards of 30,000 people visited the Gateshead Summer Flower Show three-day event which was held from 30th July to 1st August 2010.

Houghall campus will be beginning Falconry & Owl course start soon, to apply call 0191 375 4700.