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Category: Malvern Autumn Show

BUMPER CROP FOR ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL AT MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW

Three Counties Showground was basked in sunshine for its annual seasonal celebration and the UK’s biggest harvest festival this September. The ever-popular Malvern Autumn Show is a firm favourite with visitors and the highlight of the harvest calendar, celebrating all things autumnal.

Expert growers travelled from across the UK to enter their prize vegetables into the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, award-winning nurseries created beautiful displays and the Harvest Pavilion was packed with over 1100 entries in more than 170 classes from people who grow everything from root vegetables to dahlias.

The Malvern Autumn Show boasted four new Guinness World Records for 2021, with world-class competitors fighting it out to be crowned new title holders. This year’s successful winners achieved the following accolades:

Heaviest Marrow – 116.4kg (256 lb 9.8oz)
Vincent Sjodin of Barry lsland, Wales
22.7kg (50lb) heavier

Heaviest Aubergine – 3.12kg (6lb 14oz)
Peter Glazebrook of Newark, Nottingham
60g heavier

Heaviest Broad Bean Pod – 106g (3.74oz)
Joe Atherton of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

Longest Leek – 1.36m (4ft 5.5in)
Joe Atherton of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
14cm longer

The show is a celebration of gardening, food and drink and artisan produce and this year welcomed record numbers of visitors across a new three-day format. The show was sponsored by local artisan cider producers Westons Cider, and ran from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September. It had something for everyone including a new outdoor food and drink village, plus the return of the popular Malvern Gin Show where local  distilleries battled it out to be named in one of four categories, including Best Flavoured Gin won by Penrhos Spirits for their Penrhos Apple & Elderflower Gin. Awards were presented by TV chef Matt Tebbutt and visitors whiled away the hours in the relaxing Gin Garden serviced by Malvern Gin Show sponsors Ludlow Gin.

The 90-acre showground housed several dedicated theatres including the Gin Pod Theatre with regular masterclasses, the Autumn Potager Theatre with an impressive line-up of celebrity gardening and horticultural speakers, including BBC Gardeners World host Adam Frost with Mark Diacono and Jules Hudson and the Food & Drink Theatre hosted by Eat Well For Less presenter Chris Bavin featuring well-known chefs Phil Vickery and Matt Tebbutt.

FESTIVAL STATISTICS

  • Record numbers of visitors for the NEW 3-day format
  • 450 entries to the UK Giant Vegetable Championships
  • 4 world records broken by the UK Giant Vegetable Championship
  • Over 1,100 entries in the Grow to Show area of the Harvest Pavilion
  • Over 45 award winning nurseries on display in the Open Air RHS Flower Show

Next year’s Malvern Autumn Show will take place on Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September. For information, please visit www.malvernautumnshow.co.uk or call 01684 23012

Chris Eldridge, Head of Shows, said: “This year’s record-breaking Malvern Autumn Show was a great way to relaunch our events calendar after almost two years and our visitors welcomed the new 3-day format, which was a huge success.”

GIANT VEGETABLES CHAMPIONSHIP SMASHES GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS AT MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW

Expert growers have been arriving for the last 24 hours at Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK to battle it out to win the highly prized first place prize in the much-loved CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship.

This year’s entrants have come from far and wide to show their enormous fruit and vegetables, as adjudicators and representatives from the Guinness World Records officiated the competition and announced not just one new Guinness World Record but 4!

New Guinness World Records Include:

Heaviest Marrow – 116.4kg (256 lb 9.8oz)

Vincent Sjodin of Barry lsland, Wales

22.7kg (50lb) heavier

Heaviest Aubergine – 3.12kg (6lb 14oz)

Peter Glazebrook of Newark, Nottingham

60g heavier

Heaviest Broad Bean Pod – 106g (3.74oz)

Joe Atherton of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

Longest Leek – 1.36m (4ft 5.5in)

Joe Atherton of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

14cm longer

Chris Eldridge, Head of Shows, said: “We are over the moon that this year’s CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship has resulted in so many new Guinness World Records! Congratulations to all the winners and of course the record breaking vegetables will be on show for everyone to see on Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th September at Malvern Autumn Show.”

Advance tickets to the Malvern Autumn Show cost £18 for general admission, children under 16 go free. For further information or to book tickets see www.malvernautumn.co.uk or call 01684 584924.

DONATE AT THE MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW CHARITY HARVEST FESTIVAL COLLECTION

Harvest Festival Collection

Visitors to the NEW 3 day Malvern Autumn Show at Three Counties Showground, the UK’s biggest harvest festival, will not only enjoy a jam-packed day out but also have the opportunity to donate to the CCP Community Pantry.

The Community Pantry is an important hub for many individuals and is an alternative to the standard food parcel. Rather than being handed a box of unhealthy or unwanted items, pantry members are able to shop freely in a farm-shop-appeal pantry. They are able to choose from fresh meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables donated regularly, in addition to the longer life staples that many rely on. The main charity Harvest Festival Collection point is situated next to the Food & Drink Theatre and close to the showgrounds West Gate Entrance, plus there are handy drop off points at South Gate Entrance and North Gate Entrance

A range of dry goods are needed:

  • UHT semi-skimmed milk
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Tinned Meat
  • Tinned Rice Pudding
  • Biscuits
  • Jams or spreads
  • Condiments
  • Cleaning items, such as Cif, Fairy Liquid

Please do consider bringing along a few items to donate at the Malvern Autumn Show and supporting the work of CCP.

Find out more about the work of CCP at www.ccp.org.uk

RHS FLOWER SHOW SET TO WOW AT MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW 2021

Fabulous floral displays and inspiration await visitors to this year’s Malvern Autumn Show, where the RHS Flower Show takes centre stage from Friday 24 September until Sunday 26 September.

More than 40 of the UK’s best nurseries and expert growers will gather in the new open-air floral arena to transform the Three Counties Showground with an abundance of colour, scent and movement: all competing for the coveted RHS 5-star rating in the first morning’s judging session.

Whether you’re a budding Monty Don or Frances Tophill, looking for floral inspiration, or you simply want to bring the beauty of outside in, this celebration of blooms will delight the senses of family members of all ages.

Receiving an RHS 5-star rating is the ultimate accolade for a nursery; real recognition for skill and effort, as well as encouraging and inspiring others. Judges are highly experienced, independent horticultural experts, trained in judging using the RHS criteria. This includes the complexity of the display in its construction, how challenging the planting is, overall impression and originality.

Nurseries, therefore, push their creativity and skills to the limit, promising a fresh floral feast for green-fingered growers, horticultural lovers and instagrammers alike. From shade-loving succulents and dazzling dahlias to prairie-style posies, tropical treasure troves and planet-friendly pollinators, there will be stunning displays, plants for sale and expert advice to enhance all types of gardens and homes.

All nurseries will receive a star rating prize card, with top prizes including Best in Show and Judge’s Choice Awards for those who have gone above and beyond with their displays.

Any visit to the floral arena area of the show wouldn’t be complete without a peek at the brimming bulb market where visitors can handpick from a selection of tulip, allium, daffodil and dahlia bulbs – perfect for adding a pop of colour to spring planting.

Nurseries visitors can look forward to seeing at the show include Bean Place Nursery, Craig House Cacti,  Hooksgreen Herbs, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Harts Nursery, Petrichor Bulb Specialists,  Primrose Bank, Rose Cottage Plants and many, many more.

Jane Edwards, Shows Manager, said: “We are delighted that the Malvern Autumn Show is back and for the first time, our jam-packed event is being held over three days. This ginormous harvest festival is full of people enthusiastic about growing and food – it’s a real end of the season celebration.

“Over 40 of the UK’s top nurseries and growers will create impressive displays at the show. They are happy to share their expert advice and knowledge with visitors, which is always spot on.”

Entry to the RHS Flower Show is included in admission to the Malvern Autumn Show, an annual celebration of gardening, food & drink, artisan produce and nostalgia, taking place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September.

The long weekend will feature celebrity guests, the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship; a new outdoor Food and Drink Village; one of the biggest Grow to Show competitions in the country and, of course, endless family fun and free activities, from pedal tractors and croquet, to arts and crafts activities, the Top Dogs Arena, and the World of Animals showcase.

Tickets for the Malvern Autumn Show are available from https://www2.theticketfactory.com/three-counties/online/

Ticket prices include:
General Admission (from 10am): £18, Under 16-year-olds: Free (but ticket required)
Parking: Standard Parking free, Gold Parking £15

WESTONS ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINE SPONSOR FOR MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW 2021

The Three Counties annual harvest festival celebration is back for 2021 and authentic local cider producers Westons, have confirmed their headline sponsorship of the Malvern Autumn Show.

The Three Counties’ show specialists have teamed up with Westons for the 2021 Malvern Autumn Show taking place on 24, 25 & 26 September at the regional showground in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Westons have a long history of supporting the showcase autumn event, which offers visitors a full day of gardening delights, with celebrity speakers and gardening gurus, unique retail experiences and of course a wide selection of quality regional food and drink.

The Westons Cider Garden will take pride of place in the heart of the showground, offering some much-needed R&R and the chance to enjoy a refreshing tipple of Herefordshire’s finest. Having been part of the Herefordshire food and farming landscape for over 140 years, Westons continued involvement in the programme of agricultural, farming, and horticultural events at the Three Counties is a natural fit for both organisations.

Westons are in good company as CANNA UK has also confirmed its ongoing association with the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship! Visitors to the Malvern Autumn Show can see expert growers battle it out for the title of biggest vegetable and each year world records are smashed.

For foodies, a brand-new outdoor Food & Drink Village awaits, filled with a delicious mix of artisan food and drink purveyors and when it comes some much-needed retail therapy, visitors can enjoy the Countryside Shopping Pavilion for a unique selection of gifts and homewares.

At the heart of the show is the Autumn Potager Theatre which will feature an impressive line-up of guests and celebrities, sharing seasonal gardening tips and trends for 2022.

Commenting, Ollie Hunter, Westons’ Hospitality Manager said, “The Malvern Autumn Show is an integral part of our commitment to the local economy, our environment and future generations. All our fruit is sourced within a 50-mile radius of our cider mill, and we’ve been working the land in Much Marcle for over 140 years. We have a huge connection to the people and land in the beautiful Three Counties, of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.”

Tickets for the Malvern Autumn Show are available from https://www2.theticketfactory.com/three-counties/online/

Ticket prices include:
General Admission (from 10am): £18, Under 16-year-olds: Free (but ticket required)
Parking: Standard Parking free, Gold Parking £15

TICKETS ON SALE FOR NEW THREE-DAY MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW 24-26 SEPTEMBER

The Three Counties’ annual celebration of autumn is back for 2021 and for the first time, this jam-packed event is being held over three days! With so much seasonal fun on offer, show organisers have decided to pull out all the stops and extend the event over a full weekend, launching on Friday 24 September and running on Saturday 25, with the final day on Sunday 26 September. This popular 3-day outdoor event is all set to showcase a bumper crop!

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Malvern Autumn Show at Three Counties Showground, taking place on 24, 25 & 26 September 2021. Brought to you by the award-winning team behind a whole host of successful horticultural and lifestyle events, this ginormous Harvest Festival offers visitors a full day of gardening and grow your own delights, with celebrity speakers and gardening gurus, unique retail experiences and of course a wide selection of quality regional food and drink.

For the green fingered, there is the open-air RHS Flower Show, offering visitors the opportunity to wander through impressive displays and don’t miss out on all the gardening inspiration, hints, and tips and of course the chance to grab some seasonal bargains.

Families need to flock to our Family Green where we have heaps of harvest fun, activities aplenty, giant tortoises and fluffy four-legged friends on hand.

No visit to the Malvern Autumn Show would be complete without experiencing the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship! Expert growers battle it out for the title of biggest or heaviest vegetable and each year World Records are smashed under the watchful eye of the Guinness World Records.

For foodies, a brand-new outdoor Food & Drink Village awaits, filled with a delicious mix of artisan food and drink purveyors including the popular Malvern Gin Show, to tantalise the taste buds and when it comes to some much-needed retail therapy, visitors can enjoy the Countryside Shopping Pavilion for a unique selection of gifts and homeware.

At the heart of the show is the Autumn Potager Theatre which will feature an impressive line-up of guests and celebrities, sharing seasonal gardening tips and trends for 2022.

Commenting, Shows Manager, Jane Edwards said, “The Malvern Autumn Show is the jewel in our seasonal events crown. With over 25 years of history and heritage, it is back for 2021 with a brand-new three-day format and lots of exciting experiences, alongside all the much loved and popular elements, including the must-see CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship!

Tickets for the Malvern Autumn Show are available from https://www2.theticketfactory.com/three-counties/online/

Ticket prices:
General Admission (from 9am) £18.00 per adult, Under 16-year-olds: Free (but ticket required)
Parking: Standard Parking free, Gold Parking £15

GIANT FOOD BANK TO BECOME ANNUAL AUTUMN FEATURE

After making one of the country’s biggest food bank donations of its kind, organisers at the Malvern Autumn Show have committed to running a traditional harvest festival collection again in 2020 and plan to make it an annual feature.

To celebrate the 25th show in September, the Three Counties team decided to give back to the community by collecting for food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network which are local to the showground.

About 65,000 visitors donated tonnes of food and toiletries worth thousands of pounds which has now been distributed to help people using food banks in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire including Tewkesbury North, Malvern Hills, The Cotswolds, The Forest, Redditch, Droitwich, Worcester and Kidderminster.

Diana Walton, Head of Shows at Three Counties, said: “We were overwhelmed with the response we got from visitors to our call for donations.

“We received so many donations on the first day that we had to move the food packages collected by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network to another building on site so there was room for more donations on the Sunday.

“Initially, the idea was that we wanted to celebrate our silver anniversary by giving something back to our community, but visitors really bought into the idea and it’s been so unexpectedly successful that we now we feel it’s something we want to do every year.

“Our visitors responded to the call with outstanding generosity, for which we thank them.  Whilst no-one likes that we need food banks in our society, there is a real need for them in the Three Counties, and if we can do our bit each year, then it is worth us making sure it goes ahead.”

Figures show that between 1 April, 2018 and 31 March, 2019 food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network handed out emergency food supplies to 45,824 children and adults in the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire areas alone, and 142,234 across the West Midlands.

Sarah Barcham, area manager at the Trussell Trust said: “When we were approached by the team at Three Counties to hold a harvest festival donation point at Malvern Autumn Show we were more than happy to help to make sure it was going to the people who need it most – and the response really was incredible.

“Our volunteers on site had to work tirelessly to keep receiving the donations across the weekend, and it’s great the show wants to continue this in the future.

“No one in the UK should need to turn to a food bank. But during the last year across our network we’ve seen a 19% increase in foodbank use – that’s 1.6 million emergency food supplies to people in crisis. More than a third of these went to children.

“We’re working towards a future where no one needs a food bank, but until we reach that point, donations from the public are vital. It’s not just food that people at food banks need – if you don’t have any money for the basics, you’re likely to also need toiletries, household items, period products or baby supplies, so food banks welcome donations of these too.”

65,000 ENJOY SEASONAL DELIGHTS AT RECORD-BREAKING 25TH MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW

A bumper crowd of 65,000 people descended on the Malvern Autumn Show to marvel at everything from world record breaking giant vegetables to stunning floral displays and the brilliant inaugural gin show.

From some of the best food and drink producers in the country to great family entertainment, weird and wonderful animals, including giant tortoises, and the biggest ever amount of poultry entries, crowds were not short on thrilling entertainment.

Throughout the weekend people were able to visit the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship and see the preposterous pumpkins and enormous onions on display, while also witness some of the biggest produce grown anywhere on the planet.

The Guinness World Record for the longest ever turnip was set by grower Joe Atherton from Mansfield and measured in at a whopping 4.064m. The UK record for the heaviest marrow was also broken by Mark Baggs and weighed in at a massive 90.4lbs.

Visitors to 25th Malvern Autumn Show also showed great generosity by contributing to one of the UK’s largest single food bank donations. Run in association with the Trussell Trust a staggering three tonnes of food was given to the harvest festival collection point which filled more than 100 crates and will be distributed to those in need across the local area.

Head of Shows Diana Walton said: “Whilst we were aware there is a real need for food banks, what we hadn’t realised when we made the call to our visitors to help with donations is just how overwhelming the response would be.

“We are delighted that the show has been able to channel the goodwill of our visitors to help with this cause.

“We hope that this is something we can build on in the future because the generosity that comes with celebrating the harvest is at the heart of Malvern Autumn Show.”

Special guests such as Gardeners’ World presenters Joe Swift and Carol Klein lit up the festival with their expertise during talks and Q&A sessions with visitors. Jean Christophe Novelli held a number of superb food demonstrations and BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood also entertained crowds with talks on her experiences with gardening over the years.

At the first ever Malvern Gin Show visitors were able to sample some of the best and most intriguing gin from around the Three Counties and surrounding areas and vote for their favourite in the  People’s Choice Award, which was won by Hintons Wyre Forest Gin.

“The 25th Malvern Autumn Show has been a great success in 2019 despite ever changing weather and some challenging conditions,” said Diana.

“Visitor figures were still incredible, and that is a testament to the work of all the staff here who make sure that the shows can go ahead.

“From giant vegetables to RHS displays, great food and of course the brand new Malvern Gin Show, there has been so much for visitors to see and do across the weekend.

“This year has been an amazing celebration of harvest and of autumn and a perfect way to sign off the show season at the Three Counties.

“Here’s to the next 25 years of the show!”

THOUSANDS TO CONTRIBUTE TO HUGE HARVEST FESTIVAL FOOD BANK COLLECTION AT MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW

In a bid to help tackle poverty, one of the biggest ever food bank donations in the country will be made at the Malvern Autumn Show as it becomes the first of its kind to host a huge harvest festival.

Run together with charity the Trussell Trust, Three Counties will host this groundbreaking initiative on September 28 and 29, and help give back to its community.

With 65,000 people expected to attend the event, visitors are being asked to bring items to donate to the harvest which will be one of the biggest donations food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network have ever received.

Run in association with Westons Cider Mill, Malvern Autumn Show is a two-day celebration right in the heart of the beautiful British countryside and will be a fantastic harvest festival brimming with special guests, giant vegetables, stunning floral displays and family entertainment.

There will be a dedicated donation point on the Family Green area where people will be able to drop off their donations.

“The traditional harvest festival is something many people won’t have participated in since they were at school, but with real people from our community in real need, we thought we should look at giving something back,” said Diana Walton, Head of Shows at the Three Counties Showground.

“This idea is getting back to the real meaning of harvest, community and giving. Our exhibitors and staff are already donating, and we really would like everyone to bring something along and help make this a success.

“This is the 25th edition of the Malvern Autumn Show and what a way to mark the occasion than feeling at one with the communities that surround us.”

Between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network handed out emergency food supplies to 45,824 children and adults in the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire areas alone, and 142,234 across the West Midlands.

There has also been a rise in schools in England setting up food banks. The National Governance Association’s annual survey released earlier this month found 8% of governors were in schools which had food banks – up from 7% last year.

Sarah Barcham, area manager at the Trussell Trust said: “When we were approached by the team at Three Counties to hold a harvest festival donation point at Malvern Autumn Show we were more than happy to help to make sure it was going to the people who need it most.

“No one in the UK should need to turn to a food bank. But during the last year across our network we’ve seen a 19% increase in foodbank use – that’s 1.6 million emergency food supplies to people in crisis. More than a third of these went to children.

“We’re working towards a future where no one needs a food bank, but until we reach that point, donations from the public are vital. It’s not just food that people at food banks need – if you don’t have any money for the basics, you’re likely to also need toiletries, household items, period products or baby supplies, so food banks welcome donations of these too.”

The Trussell Trust has issued a list of items which food banks in its network are it is in need of:

Food – cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea and coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk and fruit juice.

Non-food – Deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand wipes, laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid, sanitary towels, tampons, nappies, baby wipes and baby food.

Please only bring non-perishable goods that can be made into food parcels in advance as the collection will be unable to take donations of fresh food.

FANTASTIC FAMILY FUN AT MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW

It will be easier than ever to encourage kids to enjoy their five-a-day at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show, in association with Westons Cider Mill, with free entry for under 16s for the first time.

The show, which plays host to the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetable Championships,  takes place from 28-29th September at the foot of the stunning Malvern Hills. It features a whole range of family activities – with many of them free – making it the perfect autumn day out.

From fairground rides and circus skills to wildlife and animal displays, the show offers plenty to keep young visitors entertained.

Diana Walton, Head of Shows at Three Counties Showground said: “Malvern Autumn Show is home to a huge range of family attractions and we’re delighted to offer free entry to under 16s for the first time.

“With excellent entertainment on the Family Green and our Top Dogs Arena, over 100 displays in our World of Animals and the chance to learn all about the country’s wildlife in our new feature Wildlife Way, there’s plenty for children to get stuck into. “We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our beautiful showground for a fantastic weekend of harvest celebrations.”

The Family Green is the hub for free activities where children can get active and creative. With circus skills, mini-golf, croquet, giant Jenga and pedal tractors, there’s fun for all ages.

At the heart of the Family Green is the Top Dogs Arena with commentating from broadcasting legend Peter Purves, and packed with displays from four-legged friends. Displays include duck herding demonstrations from the Quack Pack, Dog Agility competitions, which will test the dogs’ obedience, nimbleness and speed as they negotiate obstacle courses, and the fast-paced and exciting Fly Ball relay race.

For more four-legged fun, the World of Animals is home to over 100 displays and is one of the most popular areas for show-goers. Animals of all shapes and sizes will be waiting to greet visitors, including sheep, alpacas, dogs, horses and even some giant tortoises.

New for 2019, nature fans will love to wander through Wildlife Way, where they can meet some of the organisations that play a key part in protecting Britain’s natural surroundings and the animals that live in it. Youngsters will have the chance to learn how to make wildlife-friendly spaces in the garden with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, look after butterflies and moths with The West Midlands Butterfly Conservation and meet owls with the Worcester Barn Owl Conservation Group.

The Old Tyme Fairground is ideal for those who fancy a thrill, with traditional rides from the 1900s in the Vintage Village. Featuring a carousel, helter-skelter and ferris wheel, it’s perfect for fairgoers both young and old.

Competitive kids can take part in an array of classes in the Discover Harvest Village Show across the weekend, where it’s encouraged to play with food. Ages 3-17 can enter for free, with competitions including creating animals from fruit and veg, flower displays and plant pot decorating.

FOODIE FAVOURITES FOR MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW’S SILVER CELEBRATIONS

A hearty feast of the region’s top food and drinks will be served up at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show, in association with Westons Cider Mill.

Taking place from 28-29 September and set at the foot of the stunning Malvern Hills at Three Counties Showground in Malvern, the two-day event – which celebrates its 25th show this year – will be home to delectable delights, including a brand new Gin Show.

Diana Walton, Head of Shows at Three Counties Showground said: “Malvern Autumn Show champions some of the best food and drink from in and around Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

“We have some fantastic food stands offering regional local produce, alongside some live cookery demonstrations and indulgent afternoon teas. We’re really looking forward to welcoming families to our beautiful showground for a hearty harvest celebration and with under 16s going free across the weekend this year for the first time, it truly is a family affair.”

In celebration of its 25th show, Malvern Autumn Show will be home to its very first Gin Show, which will showcase gin producers from across the Three Counties and beyond. Hosted in its very own marquee, the show will feature sampling of some of the region’s top gin producers, not forgetting tasting and presentation competitions. Confirmed gin producers at the show include Hussingtree Gin from Worcester, Brennan and Brown from Gloucestershire and Haven Distillery from Herefordshire, plus many more.

Visit the Gin Pod theatre for gintastic talks and recipe ideas. While you are there place your vote in the People’s Choice competition which will see BBC weather presenter, Carol Kirkwood, present the award for the winning gin on Sunday.

Live cookery demonstrations will be hosted in the new Cookery Theatre by Mark Diacono and this year will be headed up by celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli. Author of ‘Citrus’, Catherine Phipps will also be in the Cookery Theatre signing copies of her new release ‘Leaf’.

For those with a penchant for top produce, Malvern Autumn Show will play host to over 80 food stands inside and out of the Food & Drink Hall offering mouth-watering treats from the region’s best producers. It’s all about the Best of British, where visitors will discover a fantastic variety of delicious goodies. From filo pastry quiches to damson and sloe gin ice-cream, there’s something to tempt all taste buds.

The Cider Garden of headline sponsors, Westons Cider Mill, will be the perfect place for visitors to treat themselves to a tasty tipple. Offering straw bales, scattered seating and apple barrels, Westons Cider Garden will serve up some of its favourite classics, lovingly crafted in the Herefordshire village of Much Marcle.

Rose Manns from Westons Cider Mill said the cider garden would be a haven for visitors who needed a quick break from the hustle and bustle.

“We’ve got some great offers available, plus somewhere to sit and relax and enjoy the show,” she said. “We’ve supported Malvern Autumn Show for over five years now and it’s always brilliant. I’ve watched it grow from a young age and it’s something I’ve always looked forward to.

“We’re delighted to be Malvern Autumn Show’s headline sponsors. The show always brings the ‘wow’ factor and we hope to bring some of that with our display at the Cider Garden.”

For a taste of some of the region’s best pears, cobnuts, apples, perry and beer, the Orchard and Hopyard Pavilion is an essential visit. Hosting over 150 varieties of heritage and modern apples, pears and unusual orchard fruit on display from R V Roger and 300 varieties of apples on display from Frank P Mathews Ltd., the Orchard and Hopyard Pavilion celebrates both traditional and modern orchards.

Visitors can vote in the People’s Choice perry, or for those who want something sweeter, the Apple and Pear auction takes place on Sunday 29th September at 3pm, where the highest bidders can take home a tray of prized fruit or a bottle of fruit juice.

GIANT VEGETABLE GROWING HELPING WORLD RECORD HOLDER RECOVER FROM FIVE CARDIAC ARRESTS

Colossus cabbages the size of cars, massive marrows, long leeks and incredible carrots will be a feast for the eyes once again at the Malvern Autumn Show in 2019.

For one grower giant vegetables are helping him recover from a terrifying near-death experience.

In 2018 five Guinness World Records were smashed at the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, including one by Gary Heeks who became known as the ‘Celery King’ after taking the record for the heaviest celery, with his weighing in at 42kg.

Breaking a world record is a heart-stopping moment for anyone – but for Gary growing giant veg is helping him get back to full health again after suffering five cardiac arrests on his 57th birthday this year.

“I actually died on my birthday,” said Gary, from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. “I was just sat opening my cards and I said to my wife Valerie ‘I don’t feel right’.”

Gary collapsed and his daughter Rachael acted quickly, giving her dad CPR for 30 minutes until paramedics arrived and he was transported to the hospital.

“It must have been terrifying for them,” said Gary, who works as an estate manager.

Gary had another four cardiac arrests in hospital before he was able to be stabilised and given an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), which acts as both a pacemaker and defibrillator.

Since then Gary has been using his two allotments and a two-acre patch of land where he grows his giant veg – or “big girls” as he calls them – to help him stay fit following his health scare.

This week is National Allotment Week, which runs from August 12-18 and celebrates the benefits of having an allotment, Gary believes that beyond growing they can play an important role in both mental and physical health.

“I really do think allotments and growing are good for your health,” says Gary.

“I feel so good after I have been tending to my vegetables. When you’re there you just have no worries, it’s my little escape.

“The doctors told me to do what I can, and if I get tired I just sit down.”

Gary has been growing vegetables in allotments for 17 years, but has only been taking on the challenge of giant vegetables for the last five. It’s not a simple task and he says it takes a full year to properly grow a world record worthy vegetable.

“After the Autumn Show in September, that’s when the work starts for the next year,” he said.

Gary prepares the ground by putting manure on it and covering the ground with black polythene sheets for the winter. This stops weeds growing and allows the worms to work which increases the amount of water and air the soil gets, making it a more suitable ground for growing giant veg.

Then in January Gary will begin sowing his seeds using simple multi-purpose compost while also making sure the land is irrigated before putting up polytunnels.

There is a science to growing giant veg, but one of the more important things Gary says he does is to give them daily words of encouragement.

“I talk to them every morning and say ‘come on my beauties, you look incredible’,” says Gary.

“I have been told I’m losing it,” he laughed.

Gary is currently growing a giant marrow and red cabbage, and the latter he thinks could well bag him another world record at the Malvern Autumn Show.

He will be amongst growers from all over the country hoping to break more world records on September 28-29 at the Three Counties Showground.

This includes Tim Saint, who actually introduced Gary to giant vegetable growing.

Tim is the current world record holder for the heaviest red cabbage which weighed in at a whopping 23.7kg.

Entering numerous categories this year, Tim says his growing is “going well” and that his is hopeful of another successful year.

“You never know how things are going to go, but the pumpkins I’m growing are looking pretty big right now, so I’d hope to do well again this year.”

The man who makes the decision on who takes home the trophies is competition judge, measurer and weigher, Martyn Davis.

Armed with a tape measure and specialist scales Martyn has been ruling over giant veg since the national championships started at Malvern.

He qualified as a judge in 2005 after taking the exam and practical test with the National Vegetable Society – and he is expecting this year to be another huge success.

“It’s always a surprise. The veg just gets bigger and bigger,” said Martyn.

“We never know what to expect when we come here. Last year we broke a few records and I’d be surprised if a world record is not broken again this year.”

For the first time ever the 2019 show will welcome officials from Guinness World Records and on the Sunday they will verify any records achieved at the show and award the coveted title to growers.

Diana Walton, Three Counties Showground Head of Shows, said: “The championships are a real jewel in the crown of the Malvern Autumn Show and a real favourite amongst visitors.

“There are always some amazing vegetables grown that travel in from all over the country. They really are unbelievable and we are all looking forward to seeing this year’s entries again and maybe even some more world record breakers.”

Entries for the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship are open until September 20 and those interested can download an entry form at www.malvernautumn.co.uk/compete

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