It was a great honour to be able to present Devon County Show’s former Crafts and Gardens Steward, Joan Mitchell, with a bouquet of flowers to mark her 90th birthday last Sunday 6th September.
Joan, whose history with the Show dates back decades, used to live in Ottery St Mary in Devon before relocating to Taunton in 1994.
Whilst living in Ottery, Joan was an active and committed participant in Devon County Show, stewarding at the show for 36 years when the Show was at Whipton in what was then the floral crafts tent.
Joan is remembered with great fondness by many members of the Craft and Gardens section. Lisa Moore, who arranges Devon County Show Features said: ‘Joan was a fantastic Steward and a joy to work with. What we remember in particular were her famous drapes which she provided to adorn the tables in the marquee. These were used for many decades and long after Joan departed. In fact, they were only very recently retired in 2018!’
Joan was always passionate about flowers and gardens and despite being 90 still has a stunning garden of her own in Taunton which she continues to tend with great skill and devotion!
A bouquet of 90 stems to mark every year of Joan’s life was presented by Devon County Show’s Chief Steward, Deborah Custance-Baker and created by Wendy Frost, a member of the Cullompton Flower Club and the lady responsible for the breath-taking flower arrangements in the President’s marquee at the annual Devon County Show. Joan recalls Wendy successfully competing in the floral art competitions all those years ago. She also recalls Wendy’s father in law but fiercely rebuffs rumours (albeit with a twinkle in her eye) that she ever disappeared into a caravan with him at one of the shows!