Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Gordale Workshop with Steve Tolley

Sunday the 28th of August this year W-B-S held its last Sunday of the Month Workshop but this time it was very very special indeed, as we had none other than Mr Steve Tolley, our friend at W-B-S for life after his Critique about W-B-S Members Annual Show

This Was My very First Workshop that I had the privileged to attend Hosted by a Bonsai Supremo In My opinion Mr Steve Tolley and I did not know what to expected but my expectations were high and I was NOT disappointing as It was more than I could ever have imagine

Mr Tolley was on the go from the minute he arrived at our workshop in the Award Winning Gordale's Garden Center here in the Peninsula Of The Wirral, The Wirral's Premier One and Only Bonsai Society

We were way into Double figures again but this time of year due to Holiday's and other commitments and more than few regular members at the Sunday Workshop could not make it and most had sent their apologies for missing out

In attendance, in no particular order were Billy = Andy H = Ian W =Tom = Dave B = Dave Y= Stan = Doug M = Brian and Margaret = Tony F = Dena and Ron = Eddie J = Lee K = Arthur and if I missed anyone out i am sorry just put it down to me having a Senior Moment well i am over 18 years

The variety of trees that was brought were Scots Pines some normal for bonsai BUT one Massive one which Lee K is the proud owner off = Hemlock = Junipers = Spruce = Austrian Black Pine = Black Pine = Forest Group = Raft Presentation Blackthorn = Maple = Yew = Escallonia = Azalea = Privets = Larch plus a few more that never made it to the work tables

Mr Tolley wasted no time getting going and soon was going round to everyone given his expert opinion and making suggestions on how the members may work on their Trees and he took time with each individual asked them questions and suggested other options which most members took plus he did more than a few Sketches to demonstrate how he sees the tree developing and he worked his way around the members

After a while it was time for a break and it seemed no sooner had Mr Tolley went for a well deserved cuppa and something to eat he was then back at the workshop tables going round everyone again asking how they were progressing and got into the middle of the action with everyone's Tree

It was one of the best experiences I ever had at a Bonsai Hosted Workshop and not One Member could say they DID NOT LEARN ANYTHING or take at least ONE Thing Away with them from Mr Steve Tolley's Workshop Presentation

So on behalf of Everyone who attended the Workshop At GGC A MASSIVE Thank-youto Mr STEVE TOLLEY and well all hope you will pay us a visit again soon

Also W-B-S are utterly Grateful to our event Hosts Mr and Mrs Nicholson for providing the faculties that allows W-B-S to have such a British, European and need I say World Artist and Gentleman as Mr Steve Tolley Bonsai; Four Dimensional Art

That's about it for now August this year was a very very busy month and we all look forward to our next meeting when we have a Debrief on the Annual Show and followed by on the 14th September- Bonsai Boot/table sale /New members Introduction

And a Reminder that W-B-S is NOW ON FACEBOOK

Account ===== Wirral Bonsai

Take care look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees


Im away at present so please check out the Facebook account set up by Jim to see pics of what seems to have been a wonderful day.
Au revoir

Friday, 26 August 2011

Japan Day 2011

A Les S security team member really comes prepared this time!!!
Bill in his element....
....doesn't he just love it!

It was back down to earth again after our FANTASTIC 4 day event of W-B-S Members Annual Show as we honoured our Commitment with Natsuko Isa a very sweet young Lady with a wonderful smile and quiet spoken very pleasant Mr Paul Cook the contact person for the event is Friend's Group committee member at Wallasey Central Library

In the morning session Dena and Ron did the honours in representing our society showing various Bonsai Trees such as (JWP) Japanese White Pine = An Oak = Scots Pine = Maple = Chinese Elm = Pyracantha and laid out a Great table Displaying their Bonsai Trees along with various Literature about Bonsai culture and W-B-S and answer the many question that the public were asking while visiting the Natsuko and Paul's Japan Day

Our display table was very situated as all the public had to pass by our display to get into the rest of the event Good judgement from Dena and Ron.

In the Afternoon session Bill G along with his trees was the main attraction and brought a few trees and accent plants starting with a few Cotoneaster = Honeysuckle = Japanese Black Pine = Itoi-Gawa Juniper = Hinoki Cypess
The morning session was busier than the afternoon on but Bill G was in his element explaining the ins and out on how to keep a Bonsai Alive and healthy and also many members of the public took away info about W-B-S and you never know who may attend our monthly meeting the Second Wednesday of each month

It seemed a very well attended event and W-B-S were more than pleased to show our support to a well while worthy cause and culture and establishing our Society in the local community

Take care and look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees as they need us to stay alive and healthy

jim thelad

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bonsai Accent Show

Below is a link to a show set for 27th May 2012. One for Andy H methinks.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Gordale Workshop with Steve Tolley -28th August

Just a reminder to members that there will be a workshop with Steve Tolley @ Gordale on the 28th August.
I believe its only £10 and your in!...... bargain!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tai Chi with Steve Tolley

A picture paints a thousand words..........Love it!!

A massive personal thanks go from me to Jim for the time, effort and skill put in during the show and over the last few months, the Blog would be nothing without it.


Monday, 15 August 2011

2011 WBS Club show results 1

Chairmans Award
Crab apple
Sean D's public award
Chairman's Award == No 5 Japanese Maple == Dave Y.

Chairman's Certificate of Merit To

Sean D. == No 3 Maple (Acer Palmatum Deshojo)

Bill G. == No 19 Hinoki Cypress

Sean D. == No 16 Crab Apple


Voted Best Tree By the Public and Awarded The Dave Mitchell Trophy By Dave Mitchell Family

Sean D. == No 3 Maple ( Acer Palmatum Deshojo)


First Prize Raffle Winner

Raffle Prize winner were Cathy and Steven From the county of Cheshire who won First prize and collected thier Bonsai Juniper (itoi-gawa) from Christine M and Bill G along with a FULL FREE membership to W-B-S and we hope they will enjoy thier tree and continue in the Bonsai Culture and a large thank you to everyone who voted for the Public Tree selection and entered our Raffle.

2011 WBS Club show results

Best Shohin
Best Chuhin
Best Broadleaf
Best Conifer & Best in Show
This was the day that All Wirral Bonsai Club Members have been working hard for since this time last year 2010

All the work and tidying up by everyone was completed in time for the arrival of The 3 Wise-men of The Bonsai World and Culture (Well at least 2)
We had in our midst Mr Steve Tolley Bonsai Four Dimensional Art Supremo,
Mr Ian Stewardson (A Gentle Giant (well he is Taller than Me) who is the Proud Owner of A Bonsai Life Achievement Award of the FOBS (Federation Of British Bonsai) and
Mr David Jackson a Soft Spoken Gentleman who has a Extremely keen interest in Bonsai culture and a Senior instructor at Invoshin School of Martial arts and also gracing our event was Mr and Mrs Malcolm Hughes a former President
at the Wirral Bonsai Society Club Show (so No Pressure were on our members) and today our Guest Judge was none other than a Gentleman who has so much Talent it would take me for-ever to write about his knowledge, and still not complete everything about him, his achievements his outlook for the future of Bonsai Culture in Britain and in Europe or even World Wide plus his other interests

But you can find what this gentleman Mr Steve Tolley is all about by visiting his website and I am sure you will NOT be disappointed.

After Judging Mr Steve Tolley had nothing but the Highest praise for the Wirral Bonsai Society and he found it extremely difficult to judge because of the High Standard that has been achieved by our Club and to Crown it all we were informed as a Society that there is a Potential of 12 and maybe 3 other Trees that could be Selected for THE BEST OF BRITISH BONSAI in 2 years time Extremely high praise From Mr Steve Tolley

The Winners were

Best Shohin == no 26 Chinese Juniper Owner == Ian W.

Best Chuhin == No 2 English Yew (Taxus Baccata ) Owner == Iain Q.

Best BroadLeaf ==No 7 Escallonia Owner ==Ian W.

Best Conifer & Best in Show== No 4 Juniper (Kishu) Owner == Lee K.


A Fabulous Show and we all would like to thank the owners of the GGC Mr and Mrs Nicholson for their kind hospitality welcoming W-B-S into their Award Winning Center and also a young lady Karen a jewel in the crown that the GGC has in their mist a young lady whose enthusiasm for not only our presence but for anyone who she comes into contact within the garden center and always has a welcoming smile for them all

I hope everyone who attended our show enjoyed what they had seen and spread the word and good news about Wirral Bonsai Society and Gordale's Garden Center for we will be BACK in 2012 and if all goes well with a big and better display of Bonsai Trees and Accent plants

Take care look after each other and your Bonsai Trees

From ALL OF US AT W-B-S a Large Thankyou to each and everyone of you who took time to visit us

Jim thelad

Club Show @ Gordale -Prep.3

last minute hoover!
decisions.... decisions!

job done.
Another Day and tension starting to creep in and deciding where the Show's Bonsai Trees are to be placed

It was a steady flow of placement of the trees with swopping positions to make sure everything was exactly where it should be along with any Accents Plants that complimented the Tree and this time it was the Chairman Ian W. who was Responsible with task of lining up, positioning and organizing the days tasks and with help from Senior Members. All went well and the countdown was about to start for the following days Judging. Many members have been in this position before but I am sure One or Two were experiencing a few pre-judging butterflies as we all did not want to let our Society down with the display presentation and Quality of W-B-S Bonsai Trees

At GGC closing time is was off for some relaxation if that was possible, as it was an early start on Saturday the 3rd day of our Event when it will all now start in earnest.

Take care and look after yourself and ALL your Bonsai Trees

Jim the lad

Club Show @ Gordale -Prep.2

I believe this to be around 6"
Stick em up
This season white socks will be 'de rigueur'
Doug does his best Doddy impression!!
(its not working for me)

Club Show @ Gordale -Prep.1

This is the Big One for Members of W-B-S with the Yearly Four Day Event in Sunny Wirral with the odd Rain Cloud paying a visit now and again at our location in Gordale's Award Winning Garden Center

By the time the transport arrived from North Wales with the early crew collecting and bringing the Display Benches it was almost 11am then it was all systems go with Dave Y and his team unloading the Gordales Van assisted by the waiting members who were raring to go and assemble the benches and for once it was straight to work not even time for a quick cuppa, but we did not have to waiting too long and everything was going well and soon the units were up and almost fitted.

At last it was time for that cuppa then back to the grind stone to continue finish assembling the display units before dressing the benches for the Members Bonsai Trees and Accent plants. The whole operation from start to finish seem to take no time at all and went like clockwork and to me this was partly due to the Skill and Craftsmanship of Dave Y and Doug M who designed and built the Display Benches also the Mottley Crew who worked there socks of to complete a job well done.

W-B-S members would like to express their gratitude and a big thankyou to Mr.Jonathan Briers, Gordale's Garden Center Manager who has been with the company for 18 years for the Massive help and assistance for driving and helping all round with the display benches and would like to book him for next year if that possible!!

That was the run down on day one Day Two follows shortly

Take care look after yourself and your Bonsai Trees and hope some of you will have paid our bonsai show a visit

Jim thelad

Friday, 12 August 2011

Club Show @ Gordale -Prep.

"Its show time"
The build team
The usual suspects

Message re Japan Day

Hi Jim!

Thanks for you email. That's great news that the W-B-S can attend. We can give you 1 large table [182cms X 76cms] and 2 smaller tables. Is this ok? Also the event is from 1000 till 1600. We will be setting up from 0900 so you're welcome to come from 0900 onwards. The break is from 1300 to 1400.
During this time we'll have to vacate the library. The library staff say this is for insurance purposes. We are hoping the weather will be good as there is a park outside the library. If the weather is terrible then we will invite everyone back to our flat near the library. There are also a number of good pubs within walking distance of the library.
As for parking, the is a small free car park [about 15 spaces] opposite the library and on-street parking nearby too.
I'm not sure if I can make the Goredale Garden Centre event but will try. I hope it goes well for you.



August Meeting -Show prep. -Selection

Wednesday's Meeting was the NIGHT that many were hoping Their Tree would get selected for Our Annual Members Show. I suspect a few members had a little bit of Nerves Hoping that ALL the hard work during the past year and months was going to pay off by having their Tree Selected and to be Judge by Mr Steve Tolley. (plus maybe Three or Four other EUROPEAN and WORLD Renowned and Respected Bonsai Tree Artist's whom are also hopefully visiting our W-B-S Members Annual Show.)

There was a sense of Quietness in the room and it was great to have Chairman IanW back in the the Hot Seat. Iain started the meeting by thanking everyone for their kind gratitude and concern during the past months.

Then it was down to the Serious business of discussion the selection of Bonsai Trees as he pointed out that it was a Surprise (to put it mildly) to see so FEW Bonsai Trees on show for Selection Compared with Last Year 2010.
Reason !!! Well Ian informed everyone that it was up to each and every one of us to make an effort to do their best with their trees and bring them into the Meetings for selections and NOT leave everything to the SHOW Regulars as at times NOT all the these regulars can attend as what seems to have happened on Wednesday as at least over four were unable to attend and be available to show their Trees. I am sure it hurt a few members to hear what the Chairman and echoed by the Vice Chairman Dave Y had to say. BUT if our Society wants to stay in the spotlight or be one of the front runners in Bonsai in the Northwest or even in England WE ALL must do out part (including Yours Truly)

Dave Y then took over and ran through the schedule preparation for our 2 Days of Show set-up and the 2 days of the show itself and also asked members if they would like to participate in the Japan day at Wallasey Central Library on the 20th August
and Bill G plus 1 (could be Sean D) + Billy D + Arthur + Dena and Ron volunteered to go along with their Trees either to show or maybe to work on and answer any question about W-B-S and help to Promote Japan Day in W.C.L

During the evening the selection process was carried out and many owners of the bonsai trees were happy and rewarded for all the hard and careful work that was carried on during the past year. So now even more tension I feel will effect them waiting to see what Guest Judge Mr Steve Tolley will comment on the show, trees and if members ask for a small critique.

At last the 2010 Show Display Book was now at the Society and members were able to purchase them

The Hard work on Trees is now done and only small details will be carried out during the next few days to have their trees up to show standard.

Thursday will see the start of the Set-up of the 2 day display and positioning of the Bonsai Trees supervised by Ian W the followed by the 2 day show itself.

I would like to wish everyone well, from the troops who setup the display to organizers, planners, the members of the Social side of things plus Gordale's Garden Center for allowing us to have our Show at their Wonderful Awarding Winning Premises, to members whose trees have been selected and do our Society Proud.

Once again all that remains for me to say is Take Care Look after each and your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Club Show Organisation

Gordale Weekend August 13th – 14th 2011 Proposed Roles within the organisational structure.

Project Managers (Arthur)
1. Ensures smooth running of the event
2. Checks all areas of event have been covered
3. Last min checks
4. Problem solving in conjunction with others
5. Not responsible for personally doing all the work just for seeing it gets done
6. Suggest 2 members

Stand Constructors ( Dave Y Doug M + Sean and Steve)
1. Getting the various parts of the stand to the event
2. Working with Gordale with regards to use of their van
3. Ensuring cloth and other stand dressing is available on the day
4. Ensuring they have the necessary tools to put the stand together
5. Checking the health and safety aspects regarding display in a public place
6. Suggest 2 members with responsibility plus 2 helpers to set + 2 helpers to dismantle

Tree selection and display ( Ian W)
1. Decide upon a range of trees reflecting the diversity of the club
2. Organise some form of equitable selection procedure for choosing the trees
3. Checking trees prior to show, making recommendations for improvement as necessary
4. Protocols to ensure all selected trees arrive at the Gordale for a designated time and date
5. Positioning of trees within the overall display
6. Checking that suitable stands and accent plants are positioned appropriately
7. Suggest 2 members plus member with accent plant responsibility

Accent plant manager (Andy Hardman has volunteered will need help)
1. Ensuring a range of suitable accent plants are available for the event
2. Not responsible for providing accents just ensure members displaying have them
3. Working with tree display members to ensure best combination

Sales and Promotion
1. Ensuring other clubs and societies are aware of the event
2. Personal invitations to interested members of the bonsai fraternity
3. Arranging for suitable sales table for members surplus stock
4. Checking with Gordale that this would be acceptable
5. Ensuring event is accessible on the Wirral bonsai society blog
6. Providing information required by Gordale to publish the event
7. Contact press if appropriate for inclusion under events/human interest

Photography (Jim the Lad + Sean Warburton V.O.C.B.S.)
1. Ensuring photography is covered on both days of the event
2. Ensuring there are photographs of
3. Setting up the event
4. Displaying the trees and accent plants
5. A record of individual trees on display
6. Interaction between members of the club and the public
7. Dismantling the display
8. Presentations to members with winning trees.
9. Ensuring the relevant photo’s are made available for inclusion on the Blog
10. Copies of photographs available for members on CD

Raffle (Bill G + Steve)

1. Providing sufficient raffle tickets for the two days
2. Checking raffle prizes are at the event and on display
3. Arranging the rota so we have somebody selling tickets continually
4. Arranging for the draw and distribution of prizes ( contacting winners not present)

I am sure that I will have missed out jobs that are important or need doing. It is important that Gordale is a whole club show and not just the domain of a handful of members. I would ask you all to give as much time as you can to this event, it was a great success last year and we need to equal or improve on that. If you would like to volunteer for any of the areas listed above you can Email me at daveyarranton@yahoo.co.uk
Many thanks in anticipation


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Best of British Bonsai 2011 Book

Double click to enlarge

We have produced a second book illustrating all the trees shown at the exhibition.
This book is in full colour and captures both the quality and splendour of the trees displayed at this event.
The book is available now; take your opportunity to order and do not miss your copy.


Kath Hughes

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Security services

Dear Mr Q
I am currently preparing an invoice for services provided by my company, Les S Security Services, at the recent workshop. Costs include travel from Ashford Kent 290 miles each at at 53ppm and the services of 4 of my staff at £150 per day. I would be grateful for immediate reimbursement.

The company can also provide security for you on 12th August when the grouse shooting season starts as it would be a shame if anybody at WBS were to suffer collateral damage.

Best wishes

Les S
Chief Executive
Les S Security PLC

Dear Mr S,
I will forward your invoice to the most relevant person for the job, probably the new club mascot - Good shooting!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

July- Gordale Workshop 2

A new club mascot?
oohh........suits you sir!!!
....wish my trees got such a reaction.
Andy starts a sand dance.
The 'Les S' security team arrives from 'darn souf' - I must admit I didn't think Les could get his leg so high anymore!!
(Great job with the pics Jim.)

July- Gordale Workshop 1

...you could have gone to spec savers!!
(other opticians are also available)
about so high....
time for a trim methinks!
pretty in pink.....
and they say owners look like there dogs!!!!
It had to happen sometime as it was a very quiet day around the W-B-S Workshop Tables, with just a few members of the pubic bringing along their own trees. Society members were enjoying each others company and doing what they do best working on their Bonsai Trees and helping out members of the General Public- as we were into DOUBLE Figures with personnel, the First time that has happened since we started our last Sunday of the Month Workshops Bash at the GGC (Gordale's Garden Center ) Four months or so ago. With most of The Committee in attendance Ian W, Dave Y,ever present Andy H and Doug M with Sean D, Tom. Arthur, Eddie J and our latest additions to the W-B-S fold Brian and his good lady Margaret who brought in two trees to work on and get advice from the senior members and Christine popped in to see how we were all doing (Doug M's young lady)

The variety of Bonsai Trees that the troops were working on were European Hornbean + Various Maples including a Deshojo + few Privets + Four Chinese Elms + Contoneaster + Juniper + Larch + Scots Pine and a Procumbens

Just to remind EVERYBODY about a Japan Day to be held this month.

The event is at Wallasey Central Library on the 20th August from 1000 to 1600 with a break from 1300 to 1400. They're going to have a number of activities taking place throughout the day. The proceeds from the event will be split between the Red Cross Tsunami Appeal and the Friends Of Wallasey Central Library. There will be a number of Japanese people and others interested in Japanese culture taking part in the event.

W-B-S has been approached and here is whats going on that day

Activities include:

# Dress up in a Kimono
# Japanese calligraphy
# Learn how to do Origami
# Tradional Japanese painting exhibition [Sumi-e]
# Book/DVD/CD sale
# Japanese traditional storytelling [for adults and children]
# Colouring & painting for children
# Japanese Poetry/Haiku workshop
# Japanese tea, coffee & cakes
# Tsunami information stand
# Basic Japanese class
# Information about Japan exhibition [Sport, Culture, History, Food etc]
# Raffle and prizes
# Craft stand
# Manga paintings
Plus more to be announced.......

If you would like to have a table at the event that would be great. This could be a workshop or whatever you want. If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask.

The above information was sent by Natsuko who is helping to organize the Japan Day Event

So anybody who feels up to attending and taking their Bonsai Trees or doing small Workshop on the 20th August 2011 please please tell any member of the W-B-S committee and as our Chairman has said "it would be a shame to miss out. "

We All know August this year is a very very busy month but I am sure it's better to be involved than not at all.

Thats all for now.

Take care look after each other and your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad


Hello and welcome to the Wirral Bonsai Society Blog - an ongoing diary & newsletter highlighting the adventures of the society & its members

Society Diary-We meet at 8pm every 2nd Wednesday of the month at the RAFA club in Oxton (CH43 1UU).

  • 13th January
  • 10th February
  • 14th February Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 28th February Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th March - Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th March Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 27th March Workshop - Gordale
  • 13th April - Demonstration - Andy H
  • 17th April Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 24th April Workshop - Gordale
  • 8th May Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 11th May- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 29th May Workshop - Gordale
  • 4-5th June WBS Flowering Bonsai Show - Port Sunlight GC
  • 8th June - WBS Member trees critique
  • 12th June Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26th June Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th July Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 13th July- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 31st July Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th August- WBS Show tree selection
  • 13-14th August - Wirral Flower Show
  • 20th August - Japan Day, Liverpool
  • 27-29th August WBS Annual Show - Gordale
  • 14th September- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 11th September Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 25th September Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th October Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 12th October- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 30th October Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th November- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th November Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26-27th November - Potter Workshop with David Jones (Walsall Studio Ceramics)
  • 27th November Workshop - Gordale
  • 14th December - Club Party


New members are always welcome, just come along to one of our monthly meetings at the RAFA club. You can even 'try us out' for a few months before you decide on joining as an official member. The meetings are informal (there's a bar!) and the club members are (mostly) friendly, approachable and happy to pass on guidance and information to anybody interested in bonsai- whatever your level of experience.