Bonsai Europa for me started on Wednesday morning packing the car and making sure everything would fit. It did, but it was like bonsai Tetris!
On Thursday morning I caught the 7.30am boat to Scotland. Here’s the view pulling out of Belfast harbour and the sun rising over County Down. A good omen for the weekend perhaps.
I made it to Bury by 2.30pm and met up with Tony and a few of the early arrivers. A few beers to start and then we had some unloading of stands to do at the venue. Once done, I managed to catch the Northern Ireland Vs Greece match, and with the aid of alcohol, had a great night watching the Green White Army qualify for the Euros for the first time. After a sleepless night in Burrs, don’t ask, I made my way to the the venue on Friday morning along with the rest of the ‘Special Branch’ helpers for the weekend. These guys deserve every bit of credit for the work put in over the weekend. Many were Wirral and Akamatsu club members but some had come from other parts, including myself, just to make this event happen. Work commenced on the staging.
As the finishing touches were being made many of the exhibits had arrived and were being photographed by a professional photographer. I did a little last minute prep to my tree and the other two I had brought belonging to friends, and got in the queue for the snaps. Will ‘I’m Will Baddeley’ Baddeley was in front of me with the tree that went on to win the Sonderpris.
My trees turn
Then Josh’s Contorted Hazel
followed by Stephen’s Raft Maple
Three of the main guys shown here. All worked tirelessly for months to get this to this point. Tony Tickle the front man and Terry Foster and Dave Barlow working away in the background in more ways than one.
Finally the exhibits were installed, the trade stands completed and everyone retired to the local beer houses of choice in anticipation of what was looking like a stunning display of trees.
Next post I’ll cover a chunk of the trees on display.