Today at IOG Saltex
A sultry start to the show with a few threatening clouds around lunchtime. Fortunately, these kept their distance and we had a beautiful sunny afternoon with a few sensible visitors heading for the shade and refreshment of the bar!
There was a steady stream of visitors to begin with peaking at lunchtime. Without access to the official attendance figures I would guess about average numbers for the first day of the show.
For the first time there was a central arena for product launches and presentations. The arena was nicely surrounded by mini covered stands provided by a company called, aptly, Arena. The presentations were well supported, topics being covered were Recycling, Climate change, and Pesticides.
Other product launches were being staged on the exhibitors' own stands, and included Hunter Grinders new Series 5 Range with cast iron beds and Lloyds of Letchworth's advanced operator control for its Paladin mowers.
Visitors to the Internet Cafe included Eddie Seaward and Peter Craig, and a number of regular contributors to the Pitchcare Message Boards including Hipper. It was good to put a face to the pseudonym.
We were also delighted to see IOG Chairman, Alex Millar.
Saltwell Park in Gateshead went away with the award for Britain's Best Park 2005, taking the top accolade ahead of 9 other regional winners.
As the show ended for the day, some of the evening's festivities were getting into swing. Of particular note were the popular barbecue hosted by Terrain Aeration and a 60th birthday bash for the NTF's, Martyn Jones. Our own Ellie Tait was called upon at the latter event to perform a task of great importance - she was the judge of the knobbly knees competition! I assume she washed her hands before she went on to dinner!