THE century-old Goostrey Gooseberry Society's show defied the coronavirus pandemic to stage a socially-distanced meeting at the village's Crown Inn - and a live telecast attracted a worldwide audience of 1,200 viewers, including people from America, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Unlike other village events the gooseberry growers decided to go ahead with this year's show as the lockdown eased.

But because of Government regulations on mass gatherings in public show secretary Martin de Krester organised a Facebook broadcast for followers who usually crowd into the pub to watch.

In what turned out to be a mediocre summer for growers, with lower than normal weights expected, the meeting ended in triumph for veteran Terry Price.

Terry, 75, the show's president, was the dark horse of the day when he produced a Millennium berry of 32 pennyweights 19 grains.

As the applause died down even Terry, who has won more than 10 shows with berries grown in his back garden at Twemlow, admitted it was a near-run thing.

Knutsford Guardian:

Terry Price's winning berry on the scales 

"Berries on the same tree have kept bursting, and one that split was a real good one and a bit riper than the winner," he said.

His showstopper was not the biggest berry of the day among shows held in Mid Cheshire - the honour went to Terry Archer, a veteran in his 80s and father of former world champion grower Kelvin Archer.

His Anne Archer berry of 33.01 swept the board at the Lower Withington Show.

Ironically, Kelvin Archer is not showing this year because he is still in lockdown.

Chris Jones, champion of the 2005 show, returned to winning form to take second place with a Millennium berry of 25.13, and Emma Williams, two-times winner, held third spot with an Anne Archer weighing 24.18.

Last year's show champion, Doug Carter, came seventh with a Newton Wonder premier berry of 21.05.

Joe Banks Williams won the junior section (Anne Archer 18.01), Cori Leigh, 2, (Millennium 16.18), Jamie Goode, 3 (Newton Wonder 15.11) Grady Alderdice, 4 (Montrose 11.17).

"Due to the pandemic we were, unfortunately, unable to welcome visitors to the show this year to maintain social distancing," said Martin de Kretser.

Knutsford Guardian:

The weigh-in

"But thanks to technology we were able to share the experience live on the society's Facebook page (@goostreygooseberry).

"Currently there have been over 1,200 views and growing, with the show being watched as far away as Australia.

"Congratulations go to Terry Price for winning the Premier cup, and all the growers who took part in a great day.

"It was nice to see a new generation of growers, with two new growers managing to exhibit berries for the show.

"Unfortunately our other new growers lost berries in the particularly challenging growing conditions this year.

"But there is always next year, when hopefully we will be able to welcome everyone back. But as it seems to have been such a hit we will broadcast proceedings again live next year."

Pictures by Emma Williams