The Splinter Group was formed from an initial idea which had been touched upon many times by both Big Steve and Little Steve. Although members at various times of both Middlesex Society and the Capel Manor Group they found that they really wanted to display in a different way to the usual club format of putting as many member’s trees on a display table as was physically possible. These thoughts were shared by fellow club members Graham Jenkins and Henry Smee and thus The Splinter Group was formed.


The new name was not chosen for any political reason but purely that Graham and Little Steve had a liking for the music of Peter Green! In fact one of the aims of the group was to avoid ‘bonsai politics’. As a name it seemed appropriate anyway. The group has been displaying and active for some years now although there is to be a slight adjustment of membership this year.

Splinter Group

The group aim is, and always will be, to try and display in a manner which highlights just a few trees and keeping the group small makes this an easier process. Trees to be used at various shows are discussed long beforehand and the intention is to try and create an air of harmony within the display. Our plan at Swindon will be to show in our usual minimalistic fashion but strive yet again to keep lifting our standards. Thought is given to tables as well as accents, both based around fairly traditional methods of use.


Members trees are of various sizes/species/histories though the overall percentages would show a slight bias towards Japanese imports. A number of these were brought in many years ago and so have been worked by group members for some time. Little Steve and Graham have also been working a number of yamadori of European descent and hopefully these should be show worthy within a few years.

As a group things are run in a very laid back manner. Plans are worked out by regular e-mail contact as we live some way apart now although various members enjoy visiting as many shows as we can get to within the UK and the rest of Europe. Trader visits and workshops have always been part of our calendar. We have no hard and fast programme but play things as they come which works well with such a small group of like-minded people.

One very important part of display to us is the opportunity to mix with other groups and individuals. The social side of any exhibition is always a big part of it for us and long may that continue.

The Splinter Group

  • Steve Hale
  • Graham Jenkins
  • Henry Smee

We look forward to seeing their display at the 2016 Swindon Winter Image Show on Sunday 28th February.