Sunday, 27 July 2014

Peter and Jamie

It was goodies for the Goode family at Gooseberry Goostrey Show - Peter Goode won the top place for the  heaviest berry for the second year in a row! 
Peter, always somewhat of a dark horse in 25 years of cultivating the fruit, beat all the odds of a season of discontent among growers to sweep the board and  collect most of the silver.
Few gooseberry men believed that size would matter this year as the result of a season two weeks ahead and juice-swollen fruit bursting on the bushes.
 But Peter the Plumber pulled a monster from his box to win the premier prize. He repeated his success of last year as the top grower with another Prince Charles berry, this time even heavier at 33 pennyweights than his previous best of 29 pennyweights and seven grains.
And  to cap it all his son Jamie. a mere stripling of nine, weighed in as a junior contestant with a big  Belmarsh berry of 26 pennyweights and eleven grains raised on his dad's allotment at Cranage. 
Jamie, a pupil at Holmes Chapel primary school,was as thrilled as his dad at the outcome. He has been growing berries for only  three years and this was his first show.
Alan Garner hands Peter a  trophy
But in a day of nail-biting competition at the Crown Inn, two absent members took second and third places for the heaviest berry. In second spot was Tom McCartney, top of the crop in 2012, who is still unwell, with a whopper of a Millennium in a season of bursting fruit of 30 pennyweights and nine grains. 
The late David Heath, another of Goostrey's top growers who died earlier this year, came third with an Edith Cavell berry of 28 pennyweights and seven grains presented at the show by his widow, Kath.
The prizewinners also included Griselda Garner, of the Blackden Trust at The Old Medicine House and Toad Hall, Blackden. Goostrey, where an archive of gooseberry varieties cultivated by the late Frank Carter, a legend among growers,  is maintained. Her husband, the novelist Alan Garner, presented the trophies.
*Click on the pictures to enlarge

A Prince Charles Berry!

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