HomeRose ShowsRose FriendsJottingsRose GalleryNEW UK Rose TrialsGrowing Our RosesContact/LinksNews from America
Some of our friends from the rose world

It has occured to me that we have lost too many of our friends in recent years.
It's time to post some images of those of us still here, enjoying roses . . . .

It's not all roses and more roses with us exhibitors. The National rose shows are a chance for the exhibitors to catch up with each other and exchange stories.

This video shows former National Champion, Tony Bracegirdle and Southport exhibitor Dave Weatherby chatting about Tony's DVD about showing roses.


Apologies for poor sound quality, and the road traffic noise

click here to play video


Mike Thompson - the Rose King of the Rhondda


Dave Weatherby , fresh from
 another success at the RNRS
Malvern Spring Show


 Mavis Chaplin with her 'Best Miniature Entry
in Show' basket at the RNRS Autumn Show at Harrogate


Mark Hewertson with his bowl of
'Roses and Other Flowers'. Mark
is a new National exhibitor who
has made a great impact in a
short space of time 

A couple of years on and Mark is still winning rosettes



The ever-fragrant Agnes Mace with a vase of
Len's prizewinning Sexy Rexy


Gareth Davies is a top quality rose exhibitor of many
years standing. A self confessed HT lover, he even 
has a large red Lionel Poole rose named after him,
Gareth will tell tell you quite openly that he is not a
huge fan of miniature roses and thinks even less of
the new form of minifloras!
As he bade us farewell
when we left the Rhondda after their rose show in
June, Gareth was once again bemoaning the
'intrusion' of these small roses into his rose world. We
had one roseleft in the van from our entries of the previous
morning, a sad looking, but huge, cabbage like,  Buxom
Beauty. Gareth gleefully grabbed the bloom and
pronounced   -  "Now that is a MAN'S rose!"


Desert Rose Society friends; Barb Steffenmier,
Bob Kerslake and Hal Reynolds (with Max) after
a great evening in Palm Desert with Pauline, Mike
Thompson and his grandaughter Lowri and me at the back!


Desert Rose Society stalwarts Walt Brown and Chuck Pahon
show off their trademark Hawaian shirts!


Mike Thompson gives a Master Class in 
HT (large flowered) bowls to Dave Weatherby


Ivor Mace IS the Master Exhibitor - Roses,
Carnations, Chrysanthemums and Vegetables.
 You name it, Ivor shows it and to perfection.
Here's Ivor with a couple of his prize-winning
onions. By the way - that's Ivor in the middle!


John Anthony and one of his winning bowls
of 'Roses and other flowers' at the
Harrogate National Autumn Show


Here comes the judge! Ivor Clark runs a trained eye over an HT bloom


Alice and Tony Bracegirdle raise a glass
(a goblet actually) to celebrate yet another
RNRS National Championship.


Len Mace recieves 'King' and 'Princess'
rosettes from RNRS Pres Ann Bird
at 2006 Show for Miniature Roses


There really is no accounting for the Taffs! Whilst one of the Rhondda Rose Kings dismisses miniature and miniflora roses, another one can't get enough of them!
Mike Thompson (Onkachonk to his internet friends) won a very deserved Miniature Rose Championship at this year's show. With more, new varieties already growing in his Rhondda rose garden, Mike will have us all growing these little beauties. Like it or like it not!  Gareth, you have been warned.


Mark Hewertson from Beckermet in the far north west. Mark is a top grower and brings not only first class roses to the shows, but also quality vegetables and all kinds of flowers.

 I report, with great sadness, the passing of another of my 'rose heroes'.

Sid Barker passed away on 8th February.

Sid was a legend of the UK rose family in every sense of the word. He was generous with his time, his sagely advice and with his roses. A visit to Sid's house would almost certainly result in a 'leaving present' of a rose cutting of some sort. Sid's green fingers ensured that there was always a good supply of roses to pass on to eager rose growers.

We have so many happy memories of days spent in the company of Sid and his late wife Nora. They were a joy to be with, never a bad word would they have for anyone. Sid exhibited his roses at all the National rose shows;The Spring show at Malvern, the Miniature Rose show, the Summer shows at Shepperton and Hampton Court Palace and the Great Autumn Show at Harrogate, his roses winning many of the top RNRS awards. Sid also supported the local shows at nearby Northampton, Buckingham and also in his home village of Stanwick. When he finally stopped showing, a few years back, it was not only the roses that we missed; the shows themselves were a little less friendly without the lovely man himself.

Our sympathies and our love to daughters Heather  and Ruth  and to his family. We'll miss Sid but be forever thankful that he was a friend who gave us so much fun and so many wonderful roses.


Sid and daughter Heather


One of Sid's prize-winning baskets of OGRs


Sid Barker; the man and his roses


Sid with his Best in Show OGR basket - Shepperton 2002

The sad news of Sam Shuttleworth's death has, I'm sure, shocked all of his many friends.When Sam phoned and told me a few weeks ago that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and that it was at an advanced stage, we reallised that time was precious but Sam was ever optimistic and we made arrangements for his visit to Felixstowe for our annual show on 17th July. Unfortunately Sam didn't make it to our show, he passed away on tuesday 13th July.


We have been friends with Sam for over fifteen years and have so many fond memories of the time we enjoyed in his company; at rose shows and events all around the country and during the many weekends he stayed with us in Felixstowe. Over the years we have shared many a meal together, in Sam's case it was normally lamb and always washed down with a large glass of Merlot!


Sam had an infectious smile and could nearly always see the humour in any situation, even when he was the subject of the laughter .He was generous, probably too generous for his own good and would never refuse an invitation to sponsor classes at numerous rose shows.  


Sam loved growing and showing roses; miniatures were his speciallity and he won many top prizes at local and National shows. Until recently he took his roses far and wide; to Harrogate in Yorkshire, Crooklands in the Lake District, Bexleyheath in Kent and to the Rhondda Valley in Wales. Everywhere Sam travelled, he made friends and he  will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.


To mark Sam's 70th birthday in 2004 Pauline and I had a cake made with a picture of one of his fabulous bowls of miniature roses printed on it. Sam was, as the photo above shows, delighted.


A rare picture here of Sam on horseback! Some will know that Sam spent some of his early years working on a farm with heavy horses and he had been looking forward to going to see the Suffolk Punches at Hollesley where our daughter Jemma works.


Sam in a reflective mood; I last spoke to him on friday 9th July, just before we travelled to the Lakeland rose show. He was finding it difficult to speak and I said I would phone later in the week and then pop in to see him. I  found out today that while we were in the Lake District, Sam had decided to put a few entries in his local show at Writtle. I understand that he won prizes not only with his roses, but also with his shallots! It would be his last show.

We're going to miss Sam terribly. We do however have some great memories of a true gentleman, a good friend and a great rosarian.


Frank August Benardella  1932 - 2010

Pauline and I were devastated to hear that Frank has passed away.

Frank has always appeared a robust, larger-than-life character with a warm caring nature, he loved nothing more than to talk roses with people who loved roses. We will all miss Frank more than we can imagine. I feel  sorry for those rosarians who never got to talk with Frank and experience his passion for his life and the roses in it. I feel so grateful to have met him and hope that some of his passion has found a home with  me.

We last met Frank and June in California in 2005, in Los Angeles and on the Forum cruise to Mexico. I took this photo of the two of them on the cruise when they celebrated their 5o th wedding anniversary. 

Goodbye Frank, thanks for the memories, thanks for your friendship and thanks for the roses.

Our love to June at this sad time and sincere condolences to the family.






Jim Naylor (top) and Lionel Poole (bottom) who both passed away in 2008


Jim Naylor in action again, presenting Dick Bathe
with his Divisional Champion's award


Ann and Ron Niblett who stage manage
and run all the RNRS roseshows grab
a minute's rest after another busy show. 


Jim again, this time with Paul Evans from
 Ruabon in North Wales


David Bryant recieves his National
Championship trophy from Past
President Jim Naylor


Sam Shuttleworth finds something to
smile about at the AGM!


Sian Reese Lewis from the
Rhondda Rose Society

raytherose 2008