Edwardian display at festival

Internationally renowned flower arranger George Smith will create a display showing the pre-war opulence of Edwardian England at the Remember, Rejoice flower festival.
Internationally renowned flower arranger George Smith will create a display showing the pre-war opulence of Edwardian England at the Remember, Rejoice flower festival.

Internationally renowned flower arranger George Smith has agreed to create an Art Nouveau display for next month’s flower festival at Pocklington All Saints Church.

The festival will commemorate the WW1 and is entitled ‘Remember, Rejoice 1914-18’.

Mr Smith’s display will express the pre-war opulence of Edwardian England.

Mr Smith has a reputation as one of the world’s foremost flower arrangement lecture demonstrators and judges.

He has been artistic director of numerous festivals in stately homes and cathedrals across Yorkshire, including four royal visits to York Minster, and his work was especially admired by the Queen Mother. In 2004 he was awarded the MBE for services to flower arrangement.

Mr Smith said: “I am delighted to be invited and I think the theme is a challenging one.

“I am lucky that my exhibit is that of the pre-war period when the world was a happier place especially for the privileged few.”

The flower festival at All Saints Church, designed by Andrew Grisewood, features many top floral artists, not only from Yorkshire but from other parts of the country, and will take visitors on a journey through the years of 1914-1918.

A full-sized floral ‘War Horse’, created by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist Alisa Ord, will be a dramatic centrepiece for the festival.

Alongside it, a now-rare East Yorkshire Pole Wagon will form a tribute to the ‘Wolds Wagoners’, whose specialist skills made an enormous contribution to the logistics of keeping supplies available to troops.

Members of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS), top floral artists from Yorkshire and beyond, will create the exhibits in what will be more than a regular flower festival.

The East Riding Regiments will be recalled through their part in the Oppy Wood offensive on the Somme, as will the final resting place for some of them at the nearby War Cemetery at Roclincourt.

Ceramic poppies have been specially made and dedicated to local war heroes, and East Yorkshire’s only holder of the Victoria Cross, Harry Blanshard Wood, will be remembered.

The festival takes place from Saturday 15 to Tuesday 18 September and entry is £5.

Full details and times of the festival are on the www.pockflowerfestival.org.uk website.