Green fingered gardeners from around the Mansfield area displayed prize winning produce during the first day of the annual Garden and Craft festival.
Massive marrows luscious leeks and perfectly ripened tomatoes were jostling for competition at the festival, which is held today and tomorrow (Sunday September 3) in two large marquees on Mansfield Market place.
The event is free and is open to the public from 11am to 3pm. It also hosts a market, entertainment, free prize draws and children’s activities
It is organised by the Mansfield BID on behalf of the trustees of the Allotments for the Labouring Poor.
Today official were in early to judge the winners of the different categories of fruit veg, flowers and wine.
Tomorrow is the Best of Baking.
Saturday’s show features the Best of fruit, vegetables, flowers and wine, while Sunday sees the Best in Baking show. Cash prizes of £15, £10 and £5 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places are awarded along with medals in each class.
Cash prizes of £50 are paid to the Best Allotment, Best in Show Flowers, Best in Show Vegetables and the Just for Fun classes along with a trophy.
in an adjoining marquee 50 traders were selling a huge variety of home made clothes, food and craftwork.
John Carter of the Allotment Trustees for the Labouring Poor said: “Years ago during the miners’ rally we used to have a horticultural show and we thought it would be good to bring it back into Mansfield town centre. We have been doing it for five years. now and It has taken off really well.”
Sarah Nelson of Mansfield BID said more than 8,000 people were expected to attend the event.
She said: “The festival is getting bigger and better every year.”Jeanne Latcowski and Beverley Harvey of Northfield Allotment Association were celebrating after winning three firsts, two seconds and three third prizes.
Jeanne said:”This is the third year we have done it - I think it is ideal holding it in the town centre.”
Jean Jones of the Racecourse allotment on Eakring Road came second in the allotment category.
She said: “We were trying for an allotment for ages then one came up. We cleared up the site and the old shed and we haven’t looked back.”
Paul Bradshaw of Mansfield Woodhouse won first prize in the pot plant category with his Streptocarpus ‘Cariad’.
He said: “I think the festival is marvellous - it is a pity the council doesn’t support it a bit more, it is mainly run by volunteers.”
In the craft marquee, Amy Revill Stevens of Forest Town was ding a brisk trade in home made jam and cakes. She said:”I think it is brilliant, I did it last year as well. I’m going to try and get them to hold a Christmas one.”
Councillor Brian Lohan added; “The festival is fantastic - I love to see people coming together like this in the town centre - it is buzzing.