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Dahlia champ Ray Weeks notches more awards
A CHAMPION flower grower has sandwiched two successful stints showing his prize winning blooms across the country, with a spell as a top dog breeder.
Ray Weeks may have retired as a builder, but the 65-year-old grandfather has no intention of resting on his laurels.
He has just returned from shows in Scotland and Shepton Mallet, where his spectacular dahlias bagged him another batch of accolades.
Ray, from Sutton Leach explained: “I used to show dahlias 31-years ago and won a top award for an amateur.
“The reason I stopped, was my wife Ann wanted a German shepherd and we started breeding them. She would go to dog shows, while I was going to flower shows.”
However, he soon joined his wife and they had a hugely successful period. They had two champions at Crufts and Ray went on to be a qualified judge at the prestigious competition.
He said: “I gave myself ten years, because I’m the type of guy who always puts everything into it.”
Following a recent operation on his back, Ray, who was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for six years, decided it was time to get back to his flowers.
And it’s as if he’s never been away: “If I’m going to start a hobby, I find the best in the country to help. The best grower of dahlias is 93-year-old Stan Pennington from Ruskin Drive, who took me under his wing.
“People ask what’s the secret of my success. I tell them it’s attention to detail.”