Champion Hayes Retains Title
Stow-on-the-Wold vegetable grower, John Hayes retained his championship title at this year’s Spring Gardens Allotments Association Annual Show.
John, from Shepherds Way in Stow, was named Champion Grower for the second successive year, beating off strong competition from Rob Jeffries, a former champ, who was runner-up.
John said: ‘With lockdown earlier in the year, it’s been especially good to have an allotment and to enjoy the outdoors. The allotment is a great place to be, to enjoy the space and peace you can find working on your plot.’
Asked about his terrific displays of carrots, garlic, potatoes, onions and cabbage, John said: ‘It’s all down to hard work, good soil and a lot of muck!’
John, who has had his allotment for 10 years, also took the Veg Champion trophy, with Rob Jeffries being named Flower Champion. Wendy Wastnidge was named the Women’s Champion (Special Prize).
This year’s show was held in a marquee on the Cemetery Meadow, in Stow-on-the-Wold, to ensure social distancing.
Allotment chairman, Chris Small said: ‘Because of the pandemic, it was a last-minute decision to hold a show and it was limited to allotment holders only. We saw some really good displays and it was great to see so much enthusiasm from everyone.
We had some really hot weather to start our growing season, then a good deal of wind and rain. Growing hasn’t been straightforward this year.
The quality of the fruit, vegetables and flowers was high and we’re pleased that so many of our allotment growers took part. We’re looking forward to next year’s show when we hope everyone in Stow will be able to take part.’
Spring Gardens Allotment Show is held each August Bank Holiday.
Picture – Just champion: Allotments Chairman, Chris Small (left) presents the trophy to John Hayes.