Sunday, 10th February 2013

On Sunday, the 10th February 2013, the FoBBS Annual General Meeting took place at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with twenty-four member societies represented. The Chairman, Malcolm Hughes, was able to report that the 2012 year had proved successful.

Society membership had increased by 8% to a total of 51 societies.

Events, ”Bonsai in Wales”, supported by FoBBS  proved  highly successful and thanks were given to all those from within the South Wales societies who had made the event such a popular attraction. One of the organising team expressed their thanks to FoBBS for the support and guidance provided in the planning of the event.

Another major event involving FoBBS member societies in the Midlands region was an extensive  display staged over a week at the R.H.S. Gardeners’ World Live event at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. This resulted in the award of a Silver Gilt medal.

One of the biggest successes for FoBBS in 2012 was the winning of yet another Gold Medal award at the R.H.S. Chelsea Flower Show. Special thanks must again go to Reg Bolton and his team of workers who put on such an impressive stand as well as those from around the country who both provided trees for the display and gave of their time to help with manning the stand.

What had not been anticipated as a consequence of this was to learn only very recently, that the Federation had been, once again, awarded the Holford Medal, presented to the amateur organisation who has achieved the highest standard at R.H.S. events during the course of the year. This is now the second occasion in three years that FoBBS have been recipients of the award.

Heats of The Amateur New Talent event took place at three venues, with the final heat being held at the Capel Manor Show held in the autumn. Thanks must go to the team at “Bonsai in Wales”, the Wirral Bonsai Society and Capel Manor for providing the venues. Congratulations go to Marcus Watts who won the final heat and will now be representing the United Kingdom at this years’ European final, to be held at Audincourt, France at the European Bonsai Association Congress at the end of March.

In terms of bonsai events in the U.K. for 2013, FoBBS is supporting or participating in three events –

  • The Shohin U.K. Exhibition, being held at Failand near Bristol in March,
  • The  Federation stand at this years’ Chelsea Flower Show May 21st 25th .
  • The ‘Best of Bonsai in Britain’ display at this years’ Gardeners World Live event in June.
  • ‘Bonsai World’ hosted by the Sussex Bonsai Group in Crawley ,August 10th  & 11th

Positive comments were made regarding the FoBBS website which is now regularly updated. The Chairman expressed his thanks to Nigel Wright who originally set up and now maintains it. This can be viewed on www.fobbsbonsai.co.uk

Incorporated into the meeting was the A.G.M. of the Friends of the National Bonsai Collection  Tony Allen, the Chairman reported on the past year and announced the major refurbishment that will shortly take place. The entire display area is to be replaced with more durable material expected to last a minimum of 20 to 25 years. This was likely to be the largest single expenditure for FNBC. In terms of trees belonging to the Collection, there were now slightly more trees than places to exhibit them. This means that it is now possible to change trees around, thereby varying the composition of the display. As a charity, it is intended to hold a major raffle this year as a fund-raising exercise.

The formal part of the AGM concluded with the election of the two committees for 2013. All those nominated for both FoBBS and FNBC were elected unanimously.

Malcolm Hughes
Chairman, FoBBS