Spring Garden Party & Open Show Weekend 2024


UPDATE Monday 6th May

After all the weather induced trauma reflected in last week’s updates, the whole weekend passed by with two brilliant events in the Open Show and Garden Party in lovely, but never worrying, sunshine, connected together by Saturday Evening’s big social evening. The ground demonstrated its fantastic drainage capability and amazed most of us with the change from the water logging of Friday night to, not too far into Saturday morning, being completely dry underfoot.

Reporting will take several weeks to complete as some of us are still on site finishing off and recovering and there is an awful lot of ‘stuff’ to pull together and to unpack when we get home, but here are the links to the relevant pages. Please keep returning for updates as the pages develop over the coming weeks.

Spring Open Show Report

Pre Garden Party

Spring Garden Party Report



UPDATE Late Friday 3rd May

After about 12 hours of non stop rain our  ground is very wet on top with lots of puddles and very greasy and difficult to drive on. Lots of extra caravans and campers have joined us during the deluge and we still expect a good week-end with the forecasts being quite encouraging. We know the ground drains very well here and will recover quickly so we are all waiting for the rain to stop and allow everything to go ahead as planned. Today’s downpour has affected our preparations a bit so this might delay our schedule a little in the morning at worst, but the Open Show and Garden Party will be going ahead.

We know tomorrow morning will be one of those ‘morning after the day before’ occasions and this evening is definitely one of those times when ‘Tomorrow is another day’. We know it will be a long night for some of our campers!

We look forward to seeing people come and join us over the week-end but the state of the ground may affect access, particularly on first thing on Saturday, so please just take your time on arrival and wait for and follow instructions. If there is no more significant rain  we are confident the ground will recover very quickly.

Thank you.


UPDATE Thursday 2nd May

The venue is ready and waiting for you and although somewhat rutted in places due to the rains of last year and it is now very dry and safe to hold our event on and drive over. Your committee and volunteers have been here all week and despite the delaying and frustrating effects of the weekends wet and s ubsequent windy weather the marquees are now up and lit and decorated, the grass is cut, the rings are marked out, the signs are all up (well nearly!) and everything will be ready for the Open Show on Saturday, the first event of our Bank Holiday week-end. The forecast is variable so we may just have to manage a little shower at some point over the weekend  but there is some shelter available and visitors who have them can bring their own day tents if they wish.

So, we hope to see plenty of our members on one or both days and dozens have booked for Saturday evening’s festivities. Visitors are also welcome to join in the fun with or without dogs who don’t even have to be Bernese.




The 2024 Spring Garden Party will be a part of our big Bernese bank holiday week-end at Hollowell Steam Rally site in Northants with our Spring Open Show held on the Saturday followed by the Saturday evening Fun and Games and the Garden Party is unaffected in its usual Sunday slot all over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of May with Mayday Bank Holiday Monday the next day. Those who are able to join us for the entire event are welcome to camp or caravan and enjoy a very long Bernese week-end.

The flyers giving more Garden Party details have been sent to all members with the mailing launched at Crufts so every member should have them in hard copy or they can be downloaded here for non members.

Spring Garden Party Flyer


and if you want to camp or book a place at the Saturday evening Pre Garden Party Party then the booking form and details are here. There are plenty of bookings already made but equally plenty of room for more.


Camping/Caravan booking and Party Form.


The Garden Party is basically a large Fun and Working Day for mostly Bernese but all breeds are welcome join the fun. There are fancy dress events, carting events, parades, food available, breed and health information, a Rescue stall, the Club’s massive Bernershop where you can buy all kinds of Bernese and Club related items, or some people just come for a pleasant day out with their Bernese.

Many visitors do not own a dog and all who are interested in the Bernese are very welcome to come and find out more about the breed and learn from owners what it is like to own one and even attend a talk given for those interested in the breed.

For a better idea of what is involved if you have never been check out these reports of last year’s events

Autumn Garden Party 2023 – Sunday 3rd September – Hollowell Steam Rally Site, Northamptonshire

Coronation Garden Party 2023 – Sunday 7th May – Hollowell Steam Rally site, Northamptonshire


… or, if you still need to know more, contact Lianne Marsden the main event organiser or any committee member. The event relies on a large amount of volunteer helpers and is now run by a sub committee who will always welcome offers of help either on the day but especially during the build up week if you are staying on site or nearby.

If you are not wanting or able to camp with us on site there are lots of accommodation options local to Hollowell/Guilsborough. A quick internet search for dog friendly hotels/B&Bs/self-catering will generate a number of options. In particular there are IBIS, Holiday Inn & Acor hotel options in not too far away Northampton and Daventry. These hotel chains are known to accept dogs. In addition, Days Inn at the nearby Watford Gap Services on the M1 and the Holiday Inn at Northampton West Junction 16 of the M1 accept dogs.

Please be advised that these suggestions are only given in a spirit of helpfulness and the BMDC of GB makes no comment on, or takes any responsibility for, the quality, suitability or any other aspect of these hotels and has had no contact nor arrangement with them.

Navigation guidance to the venue can be found here (NB If this is your first visit do not simply use Google maps to ‘Hollowell Steam rally’ as this will only take you nearby but not to the venue itself)


Our Spring Open Show is on the previous day, Saturday May 4th and more details of this can be found here


Unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances

As for all club events if there may be any detracting circumstances at play visitors should check before travelling as events can be cancelled for a variety of uncontrollable reasons. In the current era of unprecedented extremes of weather this is particularly so. This web site and the clubs social media will always be updated clearly at the earliest opportunity if events are affected and the club can accept no liability for expenses or inconvenience if visitors have a wasted journey. Fortunately this is a very rare instance and we will always do our utmost to honour our events once we have announced details.

Having said that we now know, from our very wet Coronation Day experience in 2023, that the ground at this venue drains extremely well and copes well with, and quickly recovers from, heavy deluges.