Rounding out the season . . . The Allen Valley & King’s Head Leek Club Show

Offering that extra bit of time for the super vegetables to increase in size, the Allen Valley & King’s Head Leek Club Show entries are on display tomorrow late afternoon, some three weeks after the ‘Allendale Flower Show.’ I may be wrong, but it seems to me that this show, with its members’ classes, is a presentation of the ‘best of the best.’ Certainly we amateur dilletantes could never grow leeks, cabbages, carrots and onions like these entries at previous shows!

But there’s a whole separate ‘Open Schedule’ for those of us who try, but too often fail to elicit the best from our gardening efforts. Truth to tell, I was pleased to return with a First Prize card for our homely potatoes, from the High Forest Show last weekend, against some pretty serious competition, though I’m pretty sure their success was more down to luck than any gardening skill. Our courgettes also garnered a First; I have to admit, however, that they were the only entrants. Anyway, the Leek Club Show really is the last local show of the season, even though I mistook that honorific for the Whitfield Fair.

The classes for the Leek Club Show (all available to peruse in the lovely photos on the club’s facebook page) read like a real gardener’s wish list, with prizes for heaviest marrow, turnip, tomato, pumpkin or tallest sunflower. That’s before the serious competition on the leek front! And there’s industrial classes too: jams, chutneys, as well as a great selection of flowers: dahlias, sweet peas, chrysanthemums, gladioli, roses.

In the Open Schedule, anyone can bring in an entry on the day (20p per entry), to be staged by 11:30am. From the photos of past years, it looks like the room upstairs at the King’s Head is nearly bursting at the seams with hopeful entries by the time the judge begins to assess the offerings. It’s fun to give it a go, with whatever is left in the allotment or vegetable plot, and compare one’s own gardening efforts with those of other local folks.

The flower display downstairs at the King’s Head, courtesy of John Short.

Even if you don’t win a silver trophy, it’s lovely to participate! But to those who do bring home the silver, all kudos and respect, for sure.

And a special thanks to John Short for his lovely photographs of the display of entries, downstairs and up, from this year’s show!

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