A Socially Distanced Gooseberry Gathering

Goostrey Gooseberry Society have announced that this year’s show will not go ahead as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. However, maintaining the tradition of over 100 years, the society will this year run a growers-only weighing meeting this Saturday (25th July), broadcasting live on their Facebook page from 1pm on the day, with prize giving around 4.30pm. The usual display of berries will also be available until 7pm on 27th July.

Gooseberry shows once thrived across the north of England, including Lancashire and Yorkshire, however few survive today. Goostrey’s show is one of those few surviving and is as busy as ever.

Gooseberry growing is almost a year long activity, from pruning to spraying to thinning, lasting from November to July. As such, the society were determined not to let this tradition fall at the hands of the pandemic.

Tune into their Facebook Live this Saturday to watch the meeting, or head down to The Crown to see the display.

Martin de Kretser, Secretary of Goostrey Gooseberry Society said, “This year has been a bit surreal with the COVID pandemic and it was uncertain at one point whether any of the shows could go ahead. Fortunately with restrictions lifted we can go ahead with the berry weighings, but unfortunately they will have to occur behind closed doors. Growing conditions have been challenging; despite some signs of promise of large berries in June, the late frost in May and heatwave in June has resulted in many of these berries bursting. It could be a tight competition this year and will depend on if anyone has managed to hang onto the bigger berries.”

For more information on the history of the show, see here.

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