Saturday, 30 July 2016


Terry with his winning berry
Junior champ Joe Banks Williams
     A three-times reigning champion lost his crown at Goostrey Gooseberry Show to the lightest berry put on the scales for the top trophy since the mid-nineteen eighties. Grower Peter Goode, whose premier berry has been the heaviest in the past three years, lost the title to veteran Terry Price, winning the show for the ninth time. But Terry's berry, a Just Betty variety tipping the scales at 24 pennyweights 22 grains, was a mere tiddler compared to weights for the heaviest berry in previous shows of  more than 30 pennyweights.Terry, the show president, predicted that  weights would be down on other years because of the  combination of heat, rain and cold during the peak of the growing season. "It was the smallest premier berry I've ever had, and I  didn't really think it had a chance of winning the show," he
Shows from the past at the Crown
  "It has been the worst growing season for years with berries bursting all over the place."  Terry, who has several times won the Mid-Cheshire Association cup as the top grower,  had the satisfaction of winning prizes in almost every class and carried off six silver trophies to put on show at his home in Twemlow Green. Peter, raising his berries on an allotment  at Byley managed only eighth place in the challenge for the premier award with  a Montrose berry weighing 18 pennyweights 8  grains. He was expected to win a top prize again at this year's show at the Crown Inn, but Peter blamed his lack of success on a  late hard frost in May which ravaged his crop. The poor season was confirmed when Kelvin Archer was unable to raise a Montrose gooseberry for the Lower Withington show of more than 30 pennyweights 18 grains compared to his world record Millennium berry in the Guinness Book of Records of 41 pennyweights 11 grains.  Another long-time grower Nick Hassall was pipped into second place with his Montrose at 24 pennyweights 11 grains and third was Emma Williams, the show secretary, with a Lloyd George of 23 pennyweights 4 grains. 
  Emma also won a trophy with the only triplets in the show, a trio of Newton Wonders weighing 36 pennyweights 8  grains, and Griselda Garner from Blackden topped the scales with Just Betty twins at 30 pennyweights 16 grains.
 In the under sixteens class, Joe Banks Williams, aged seven, collected a silver cup for a Woodpecker berry of 16 pennyweights 5 grains.
*Double click images to enlarge

A light-hearted moment in serious business!

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