Village Produce Show
The Village Produce show is held annually in September and has been running for over 17 years.
Contact: Felicity Topping
Village Produce Show 2020
The Show took place this year in the unprecedented circumstances of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a sideways shift of venue into the Village Hall car park to enable social distancing to be observed, visitor details collected on entry, and extensive health and safety requirements to be met. The unusual sight of masked ladies and gentlemen wearing gloves and serving teas from behind the playground fence was probably a first for the village. The scene was set against a backdrop of six rather jolly bunting-clad gazebos dotted around the carpark, all of which were delightful but the prettiest of which was undoubtedly the Village Shop stall, beautifully designed and curated by the very talented Chris and Mark. We were blessed with blue skies and sunshine, kind people lending gazebos and even coming to put them up very early on Sunday morning, huge support from the marvellous village bakers, dedicated volunteers on the tea stall, excellent entries in all categories and a great turnout on the day from villagers happy to have a village event to come to!
The number of categories was restricted to 5 this year: Fruit, Vegetables, Flowers, Plants and Lockdown Projects. The number and quality of entries in each category was excellent and reflected the time and energy spent on allotments, vegetable plots and creative projects during the year.
Francesca Lloyd – age 6, scooped best in class in the Plant category and Best in Show. The judge commented on the importance of cultivating the interest of children in gardening and noted: ‘I am so impressed at Francesca managing to get an avocado plant growing – well done! This is very impressive – a good root system is now established, and it can now be potted on as a great plant!’
In the Fruit category, Erica’s pears won Best in Class, with Caroline Hunt’s apples being highly commended. We had an impressive number of entries in the Vegetable category, with Iain Duff’s onions judged as Best In Class, the uniformity of David Rickeard’s runner beans and the beauty of Charles Stutley’s tomatoes highly commended. In the Lockdown Project category, Cheryl Forrester won Best in Class for her fine silver necklace, and in the Flowers, Jane Drew won Best in Class for her exquisite white tinged with pink dahlia, while Caroline Hunt was commended for her arrangement and ‘understanding of colour palette but keeping it beautifully simple’. The Community Cup was won by two of our favourite people in the village – Darren and Ruth – for their outstanding commitment to the community during lockdown, providing us with food and beer to help keep us cheerful. Takings on the day enabled us to make a donation of £50 to the Friends of St Andrews.
We were delighted to be joined at Show by the newly formed Hagbournes and Upton Group for Group (HUGS) which promotes household level and village sustainability projects, supports nature’s recovery and campaigns for a greener future (www.hugsustainability.org).
We have had many lovely thank you messages from around the village for holding the event. Huge thanks must go to the dedication of our Committee without whom the Show could not have gone on, Geoff and Linda for their support and opening the hall horribly early, the Parish Council for letting us use the car park, our fantastic team of tea stall helpers, our sponsors – The Fleur de Lys and the Village Shop, and our wonderful judges, Richard Roslyn, Head Gardener at Blewbury Manor, for his extensive knowledge and assessments, and Baz for her informed and insightful judging of so many excellent entries. Finally, a massive thank you to all of those who came and made it such a special and joyful occasion.
Felicity Topping, Chair, Village Produce Show
OVERALL SUMMARY OF THE ANNUAL SHOW
The Show provides a great showcase for all ages to show off the wonderful fruit and vegetables grown in the village, for our great bakers and cooks to produce and show lovely cakes, breads, jams and chutneys, for talented makers to display their crafts, for our local photographers to show us new perspectives in our village, local flora and fauna, much loved pets, and for chicken keepers to proudly display their prize winning eggs.
We also aim to encourage younger inhabitants and children at the village school to take part, and always have wonderful and creative entries.
In 2018, 31 adults and 21 children entered the Show. The Committee distributed packets of sunflower seeds to the School earlier this year, and some very fine and impressive sunflower heads were submitted. Last year saw our first Bake Off competition, and 2015 was marked by an enormous cupcake in the village which heralded the Cup Cake Bake Off, which attracted a large number of entrants.
Each year the Committee chooses a good cause which receives the profits from the Show and Auction. In 2018 we decided to support something very close to home – The Mind the Green Gap campaign which is fighting hard to stop the new development by Grainger on Main Road, and we successfully raised £235 for this worthwhile cause.
2018: Our thanks go to our sponsors, The Village Shop, who kindly provide the Bake Off Cup and support us by stocking all the Bake Off ingredients, and to The Fleur de Lys who support us and who also kindly provided an Auction Prize this year. We also thank all our entrants, the judges who made the tough decisions, the Committee who made the day run smoothly, all the kind people who donated cakes for us to sell, and Tony and Alice who let us display our banner (and this year’s cupcake) on their wall! Do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved in next year’s show – we are always looking for ways to improve! Below is a list of the worthy winners from 2015. Well done all!
Chair, Flower and Produce Show Committee
2018 Cup Winners
- Flowers – Barbara Millard.
- Flower arranging – Gillian Harries.
- Fruit & veg – Jennie Kuca
- Baking – Jennie Kuca
- Crafts – Justine Wood
- Best newcomer – Sally Barksfield
- The egg cup – Freddie Jones
- Biggest Sunflower: Jessica Bush (10-12 years), Laura Bush (6-9 years)
- Most outstanding children’s entry – Annabel Ainger
- Children’s winner : Jessica Bush
- Adult section (over 12): India Wood
- Childrens section (under 12) Joint winners: Jessica Ainger and Kizzy Jones