Dorset Steam fair invite for Chard flower arranger

Jackie Nicholls with her Great Dorset Steam Fair award. Picture: JOHN NICHOLLS

Jackie Nicholls with her Great Dorset Steam Fair award. Picture: JOHN NICHOLLS - Credit: Archant

Jackie Nicholls to demonstrate at the prestigious five day show in Blandford

Award winning flower arranger Jackie Nicholls, from Ashville Design, near Chard, has been invited to exhibit her artificial floral designs of The Great Dorset Steam Fair’s 50th anniversary event, in Blandford.

The five-day show takes place overt the August Bank Holiday from Thursday, 23, to Monday 27.

Jackie, Winner of the Axe Vale Show Craft Trophy for 2017, said: “My family all love steam engines. In times gone by, unbelievably my grandmother used to drive one. Despite normally being a very stylish lady with hair and clothes ‘just so’, I have fond memories of her in oily overalls – covered from head to toe in soot and looking more like a chimney sweep than a glamorous grandmother!”

Great Dorset Steam Fair is one of Europe’s biggest annual events. But this time, they are hoping to achieve a 2018 Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest event of its kind. The stars of the show for 2018 are 500 full size steam engines from all over the globe. Such a gathering has never been seen, or achieved before.

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At the show in 2016 - as seen on BBC One’s Countryfile by almost seven million viewers - Jackie was displaying her work in the Rural Craft Marquee and won a prestigious award for “The Most Colourful and Artistic Craft Display”.

The Audrey Lander Memorial Silver Salver was presented to her by the late Mrs Lander’s daughter and grand-daughter.

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Mrs Lander was the founder of the Rural Craft Marquee and it was her wish after she passed away, that every year the presentation would be made in her memory.

Jackie said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited back again to this wonderful event, particularly when they are looking to achieve such a prestigious world-breaking record.

“There are hundreds of stalls in the Rural Craft Marquee competing for awards, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed again. It’s all down to the judges’ criteria and preferences on the day.”

For more details about Jackie’s work and her flower arranging classes visit or call her on 01460 67795 or 07906 259 683.

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