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Old Tom finally wins big after trying
A GOOSEBERRY grower has clinched the top award at the Goostrey show for the first time – after more than 60 years of trying.
The past weekend saw three Gooseberry shows take place in the Knutsford area.
The Crown, in Lower Peover, was the location for the Crown of Peover Gooseberry Show on Saturday, while on the same day, the Holmes Chapel Gooseberry Show was held at the Victoria Club in Victoria Avenue and the Goostrey show was held at the Crown Inn in the village.
But it was 88-year-old Tom McCartney who stole the show in Goostrey.
Tom, of Bank View in the village, first entered the competition in 1948 – the same year that the Olympics were last staged in London – but on Saturday, July 28 it was the first time he had clinched the top prize.
He recorded the heaviest premier berry award with his Montrose variety weighing in at 22 pennyweights and 16 grains as well as securing the Frank Turner Points Cup – an award close to his heart.
He said: “I must have finished in every position in the show apart from first but I just get great pleasure from entering it.
“I didn’t do anything different this year.
“I was a little taken aback when it was announced.
“Frank was a very good friend of mine and that is a very important trophy to have won and I’m looking forward to receiving it.”
Dave Garratt, secretary of the show, added: “In terms of the size of the berries it was not a good show as a result of the weather.”
At the Crown of Peover show, the winner was Peter Riley – the first time he has scooped the top prize since 2009.
Keith Tickle, secretary of the Crown of Peover show, said it had been a tough year for growers.
“It has been another difficult year with all of the wet weather, despite which the weights held up reasonably well,” he said.
At the Holmes Chapel show, Brian Stafford secured the top prize for his berry that weighed in at 20 pennyweighs and 18 grains.
Secretary Maclolm Quayle came second with a 20 pennyweight five grain berry, with David Monks – who picked up the award for most points – coming in third with his 19 pennyweight 17 grain effort.
Malcolm said the event went much better than anticipated.