Popular Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Flower Show returns after covid stops historic annual event

A popular show which has run for more than a century and a half is returning after covid curtailed the event in 2020.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 5:29 pm
A previous Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society show at the Lord Nelson

Dating back to the Victorian era, the long-running Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Flower Society show is one of the last remaining agricultural club shows in the North East and is still widely supported by the community today.

The show takes place as part of the annual Monkton Festival at the Lord Nelson pub in Monkton Lane.

The event on Saturday, August 28, is organised by the Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society, which was founded in 1863, making it one of one of the oldest horticultural societies in the UK.

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Visitors admire the leeks entered into a previous Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society show.

There will also be live music with the return of the annual Bandfest from 4pm on Saturday.

Alan Smith, one of those involved in the event, said it was great to see the events back, having not taken place since 2019 due to the pandemic.

"Obviously due to covid these events were missed but back again,” he said.

“The annual bandfest is in support of the leek club so all admission goes to the club – its only £1.

Produce at a previous Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society show.

“Also the Cancer Connections charity make use of the marquee with a summer fayre.”

It comes as covid continues to take its toll on the North East’s traditional events programme, with many annual shows already cancelled months ago as uncertainties hung over how the covid situation would develop.

According to the Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society, the show began almost 160 years ago when Monkton was an isolated rural community to the south of Jarrow.

The early shows were held at the Robin Hood public house at Hedworth due to a lack of facilities in Monkton, and later moved to the Lord Nelson public house at Monkton, where the Annual Show was held in a large marquee to the rear of the property, as it is to this day.

During the Second World War, however, the show was organised in the local school as it was felt that the marquee would draw the attention of enemy aircraft who were seeking to bomb the nearby Monkton Coke Works. After the war the annual show returned to the grounds of the Lord Nelson.

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