TAUNTON Flower Show is marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War with a montage of 18 images created by Somerset College students.

The young artists will be displaying their talents on a 140ft facade of one of the biggest marquees in the two-day show, which starts in Vivary Park on Friday, August 1.

Kristyn Woodward, head of student engagement at the college, said: “This type of project has a huge amount to offer our students, and it is an excellent community showcase for their talents.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the flower show.”

Show vice-chairman Adrian Prior-Sankey, who thought up the idea, said: “This year’s show coincides with the start of World War One a century ago and it seemed appropriate to harness the artistic talents of local students to reflect many of the ways in which that conflict impacted on ordinary people’s lives all those years ago.

“My own family lost a young man in the war and the display of the students’ pictures marks the beginning of the national period of commemoration which will provide a very poignant act of remembrance.

“I am sure that their contribution will play a significant role in helping today’s generation understand something of the awful nature of war that hasn’t diminished 100 years later.”

Winners at this week’s show will pocket higher cash prizes than ever.

Competitors coming first will win £7, with £5 for runners-up and £3 for third place in most classes, although there are higher sums in more complex classes and 50 cups, trophies and special prizes.

The ‘Chelsea of the West’ – the country’s longest-running show which dates from 1831 – opens to spectators at 10.30am on Friday and 10am on Saturday.

As well as the plants, flowers, fruit and veg classes at the show, which has been expanded into Wilton Lands, there are also classes such as crafts, cookery, wine and beer and plenty of others.

Entertainment for the thousands of visitors includes music, trials, owls and sheepdog displays.

There is a designer gardens contest and a Ready Steady Garden competition challenges participants to create a unique garden inside two hours.

Traders are taking space in Wilton Lands and the main showground, while there are also a food hall, floral marquee and craft marquee.

Entry is free for Taunton Flower Show members and anyone under 17 accompanied by an adult. It costs £12 for adults on Friday and £10 on Saturday.