Tribiutes have been pouring in for Pat Coutts, the event director of Four Oaks Trade Show, who sadly passed away at the age of 76. She died peacefully at her home on Monday 30th August.
The Four Oaks Trade Show team said: "Pat led the show across five decades and was a pillar of the horticultural community, she will be sadly missed.
"Pat often said that 'horticulture is for life' and she was happy to dedicate hers to serving it, first working on the Four Oaks nursery then going on to build and evolve a successful international trade show for the sector, one that has a completely unique and special character, which is her lasting legacy to the industry."
Garden writer and TV presenter Peter Seabrook said: "The very sad passing of Pat Coutts will leave a large hole in horticultural circles. There are individuals in businesses and associations whose application to detail and dedication to the job in hand results in respect, success and brings style into our lives.
"Pat Coutts was a stickler for detail, so committed to all she did and always putting others first. My first visit to Four Oaks in the early days was as a peat salesman, carrying into the glasshouses bales and samples to set up the Bord na Mona stand. Hardly a year has been missed since and more recently my age made walking from the car park and being on my feet for two days a bit demanding. What happened? Pat sent me a note without any prompting to say a car parking spot was reserved for me by the office door, this lady looked out for everybody, exhibitor and visitor alike .
"What other horticultural event manager arranges morning coffee, packed lunches, afternoon tea and ice creams on hot days for exhibitors? Pat’s commitment to the success of all those taking part in Four Oaks trade shows was exemplary, always good humoured, a pleasure to work alongside and she will be sorely missed. Thank you, Pat it was my good fortune to have known you all these years and had the privilege of your friendship."
Neil Bragg said: "I knew Pat for more than 40 years and she was a wonderful person. She will be sadly missed. Her attention to detail was amazing, and she always looked after her exhibitors. She lived for the Four Oaks show, and it showed in so many ways."
Friend and former colleague Pat Flynn, trade association manager of the Commercial Horticultural Association, added: “As well as being a wonderful person, Pat was the ultimate professional. She worked incredibly hard and really cared about her exhibitors.
“Pat was always looking at ways at enhancing the exhibitor experience, including being the first show director to introduce free packed lunches on the exhibition stands.
“We worked together at Nexus Media in the late nineties, and it was a joy to be alongside her at events and shows. I spoke to her just over a week ago and she said she was hoping to leave hospital and spend time at home.”
Pat is survived by a son, Stephen, four grandchildren and a great grandson. The funeral will take place at Macclesfield Crematorium on Monday 20th September at 11.30am. Donations to Cancer Research, no flowers please.