Saturday, 5 August 2017

Kelvin's world record Millenniun berry in 2013
weighing 41 pennyweights 11 grains


Kelvin Archer with his winning berry at Marton
 The curse of the worst growing season for years continued when  even world champion Kelvin Archer could not pull off a real whopper from his gooseberry trees for Marton show today. But Kelvin,  growing berries for 40 years, still swept the board at the show at the Waggon and Horses, near Congleton. His top berry, a Millennium hitting the scales at 30 pennyweights 04 grains, was  down on previous years but bigger than  most weighed at Mid-Cheshire shows - with the exception of Lower Withington. It was there John Porter has provided the biggest berry of the season, an Ann Archer of 34 pennyweights 08 grains. Ironically, Kelvin, competing at the same show a week ago, originated the winning berry named after his wife! His word for the season: "Rubbish..." The Marton event was disappointing for the youngest grower, Marie Wilshaw from Mossley, who two years ago at 12 produced the biggest berry at any show. Her Balmarsh variety weighed 34 pennyweights 20 grains but her tender years disqualified her from receiving the trophy as the area's top grower. Now, after joining the ranks of the seniors she hoped her winning ways would continue this year but she had nothing to show and was sidelined to watch as a spectator. 
"It is really sad for her because this year is her first as a senior grower, but she had nothing left on her trees," said a member."It is thought a squirrel may have got among the berries and made a meal of them." With only the Over Peover show to be held tomorrow (Sunday) it was expected that John Porter would be this year's
Marie Wilshaw with her monster berry two years ago
Mid-Cheshire Gooseberry Association champion, Meanwhile, the Marton show, which has only seven growers, and Over Peover show are hoping to gather more members for next seasons battle of the berries.
**Pictures copyright Emma 
Williams and Space Press
++Click images to enlarge


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