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60,000 flock to Malvern Autumn Show as two nurseries are given gold medals
11:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
WORCESTERSHIRE grower Colin Broomfield emerged top of the crops at Malvern Autumn Show at the weekend when he scooped seven out of 10 first prizes, plus the best in show award, in the apple and pear classes.
And he was only pipped in the heaviest apple category by 7oz, his entry of a plate of five apples weighing in at 5lb 11oz, compared with the winning exhibit of five Howgate Wonders from Clives Fruit Farm, of Upton upon-Severn, at 6lbs 2oz.
Although there were dire growing conditions this summer, which meant some orchards have seen up to 60 per cent loss of fruit, Mr Broomfield, who farms at Holt Heath, near Worcester, said the seeds of his success were actually sown last year.
“In 2011 there was a long, dry spell which hit some growers’ trees badly,” he said.
“This meant many were in bad shape to cope with the rain and below-average temperatures we have had this summer.
“However, we had already made a substantial investment in irrigation and were able to keep our trees in good shape last year, which meant their quality has held up in what has been a very challenging summer. I estimate that our total yield is about 25 per cent down, but the return of the sun in the last fortnight has really improved the sugar levels of the fruit and our customers can be assured we will have plenty of top-quality apples and pears to see them through the winter.”
Broomfields took the best in show award with an entry of Egremont Russell apples.
About 60,000 visitors attended the two-day event on the Three Counties Showground and some might see themselves on televi-sion next year. Presenter Carol Vorderman was there to film a programme in a new ITV series Food Glorious Food, which is due for screening in 2013.
She met several local people as she searched for the perfect regional dish and best home-cooked recipes.
A regular visitor to the Spring Gardening Show in May, Ms Vorderman said: “It is always lovely to come to such a beautiful setting and I am sure we will be able to find some good local recipes to do it justice.”
One of the popular show attractions is always the giant vegetable classes and once again specialist Peter Glazebrook, of Newark, near Nottingham, stood tall. He won classes for the heaviest onion (16lb 15oz), heaviest tomato (3lb) and heaviest marrow (111lb 9oz) and was runner-up in the heaviest carrot class.
In the RHS Flower Show there were gold awards for Grafton nursery, of Grafton Flyford, near Pershore, and Fribrex Nurseries, of Pebworth, near Evesham.
In the Great Malvern Bake Off, which had been organised to showcase the baking skills of WI members from Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the competition was actually won by an outsider. Rebecca Hocking, of Newport, South Wales, took best in show with her celebration cake.
However, there were crumbs of comfort for Alison Pearson, of Malvern, who took three class wins with a traditional fruit cakes, a tray of decorated cakes and savoury items for a royal picnic.