NEW SPORTS TURF SHOW HAILED A SUCCESS
The Reaseheath Sports Turf Machinery Show, held in the realistic setting of Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, attracted over £6 million-worth of cutting edge equipment which could be viewed in action on a selection of sporting facilities.
More than 20 national manufacturers and suppliers chose the new event to showcase equipment ranging from the latest ride-on, trailed and pedestrian mowers to aerators, scarifiers, top dressers and line markers. Seed and fertiliser products were also on sale.
The hands-on display, which was spread across the college's golf course, bowling green and football, rugby and cricket pitches, attracted potential buyers from across the north-west and the midlands.
The event was so successful that it is to be repeated annually, on the second Wednesday in July.
Explained event team member Ian Benison, a Reaseheath horticulture programme leader: "We felt we could fill a void in the industry by offering a 'hands-on' opportunity for companies to display their equipment or materials in a real working environment. We also wanted to offer those working in the industry the chance to view performance and not just a shiny machine on a stand.
"We were delighted with the success of this first show. Next year we are hoping to attract more exhibitors with a greater range of products."
An award for the best tradestand went to PowerLoyal UK, a Winsford-based dealer in golf and amenity machinery. Cheshire Turf Machinery of Stockport, which hold the north-west dealership for TORO, were judged to have the best demonstration display.
Confirmed Peter McGreevy, Sales Director of Cheshire Turf Machinery: "This show is an ideal setting for us because we have been able to demonstrate our whole range of equipment - and that means everything you need to manage a golf course. We have had several positive leads."
PowerLoyal's MD Andy Powell, himself a former Reaseheath engineering student, said: "The show has offered a variety of interest for customers - and as long as they have enjoyed it they will keep coming back."
Steve Hanlon, Group Sales Manager of Stafford lawnmower machinery specialists Burrows GM Ltd. said: "We have had a very good day. The show has attracted the right people for us and the facilities have been first-class. The mid-week timing of the show is very good, as it is easier for the professional to get away for a day, and by July the main growing season is over."
Jim Whitton, national accounts manager for manufacturer Ransomes Jacobsen, confirmed: "The show has been a refreshing change from the format which is usually offered - which is a fixed display or a demonstration day. I will certainly be supporting my dealer here in the future."
Richard Campey, owner of turf maintenance equipment dealers Richard Campey Ltd, said: "The showground has a very good layout. Potential buyers could get close to the machinery because there were no barriers, but health and safety requirements were still in place."
Anthony Davies, Prestbury Golf Course Manager who will be hosting the 2004 regional qualifying event and the English Seniors Open in 2005, had had some useful close-up contact with machinery but had been disappointed that no suppliers of starter huts were present.
He said: "This has been excellent for a first show and it deserves support from across the industry."
Other exhibitors included the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).
Pic 1: Family affair: Brothers Neville and John Stringer, joint owners of Boysnope Park Golf Club, Eccles, and Neville's sons Jonathan and Steven (seated) take advice on a top of the range TORO Groundsmaster 4000 rough mower from Peter McGreevy, Sales Director of Cheshire Turf Machinery (2nd left)
Pic 2: Steve Hanlon, Group Sales Manager of Burrows GM Ltd., Stafford, takes a Ransomes Jacobsen fairway mower down the green.
Pic 3: Peter McGreevy, Sales Director of Cheshire Turf Machinery, (2nd left) introduces Reaseheath Principal Vic Croxson to a TORO Sidewinder ride-on triple mower. Looking on are Vice Principal Dave Kynaston and show organisers Brian Jones, Chard Spicer, Ian Benison and Richard Murray, Reaseheath's head greenkeeper.
Pic 4: PowerLoyal's MD Andy Powell (left) receives his award from Reaseheath Principal Vic Croxson.
For further details contact Reaseheath's Press Officer Lynne Lomax on 01829 782259 / 01270 613279 / 07960 781658