Spuds in a bucket competition at the gardening club

The big weigh-in at the Spud in a Bucket contest in Holywell.

The big weigh-in at the Spud in a Bucket contest in Holywell. - Credit: GRANT WILLIAMSON

The Holywell-cum-Needingworth Gardening club is one of the largest gardening clubs in the area with 190 members.

During the long months of lockdown, when it was not possible to hold meetings in public, members decided they needed something to do which was garden related and could be done at home.

Club chairman Grant Williamson said the idea of a Spud in a Bucket competition was put forward in March this year. This entailed giving each entrant a standard builders' bucket and a potato.

"The challenge was to grow the heaviest, and the lightest, crop of potatoes using whatever means they considered appropriate. We expected a few members to take part but were amazed when 87 people asked for buckets."

A weigh-in was held on September 7 and the buckets were tipped out on a table and then the potatoes were weighed. The event was held in Back Lane in Hollywell on what Mr Williamson describes as a "glorious summer's day".

"The buckets were tipped out to great excitement on sturdy tables and then put back in the bucket for weighing and their weight recorded.

"The cards were then attached to our washing line Spudometer by pegs so they could be moved along to keep them in order.

The washing line spud in a bucket judging at Holywell.

The washing line spud in a bucket judging at Holywell. - Credit: GRANT WILLIAMSON

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"The Huntingdon Ukelele band provided a most enjoyable background entertainment and all the attendees were provided with wine soft drinks and cakes

The winning crop was from John Baily, of Holywell, whose entry of 2.876 kg comprised of only five potatoes. Mr Bailey, who was not keen to share the secret of his success, was presented with a voucher for a fish and chip supper for two.

He also won the heaviest potato with a weight of 931 grams and was awarded a Mr Potato Head. The lowest crop received a masher and peeler as a prize.

Sorting the spuds at the village competition in Holywell.

Sorting the spuds at the village competition in Holywell. - Credit: GRANT WILLIAMSON

"In normal times we run a wide range of events throughout the year as well as our monthly talks in the Village Hall. These are generally held on the second Tuesday of the month starting at 8pm.and we generally have more than 70 members attending

 We have an excellent website at hcngardening.weebly.com which gives all our information as well as photos.

 "We run probably the largest plant sale in the area in early May with queues out of the door to sell produce grown by our members and there is a highly successful traditional village show in September with more than 550 entries.

INFO: The cost of joining the club is £5 per annum and new members should contact David Gedye at: djgedye@gmail.com or call: 01487 840963.

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