|Village Flower Show Raided by Police
|Village police were called to the scene of the annual Upper Puckering
Late Summer Flower Show yesterday afternoon where they confiscated several exhibits. To
the horror of local floral enthusiasts, the displays in question contained cannabis
"Once we got a report of what they were, we acted quite quickly," said
Sergeant Archer. "However, after interviewing the exhibitors, I don't think we will
be pressing charges at this time. Mrs. Beetle is 94 and she says she got the plants for
some greenery when she was walking. She was surprised because she hadn't seen anything
quite like them before and admired the leaves."
Another exhibitor, Morris Pendlethorpe of Meads Cross, believed the greenery in his
display to be a rare Austrian meadow grass. He has so far refused to reveal his
source, admitting only that he "pinched it from private property." Police have
not been able to track down where the plants were originally grown. --Lumpy Gaites
Village Terrorized by Mad Biker
|Local police have received several complaints lately concerning a
motorcyclist who seems to have little regard for his fellow travelers. "He was a
great big man," said Louise Wilton. "He just came out of nowhere and nearly ran
me down. It's not right. I'm 73 years old and I can't go hopping back over the curb. I
could have done myself a mischief."
"All I saw was dust. All I heard was a
roar, like the roar of the sea in a bad storm. Then it was over," said Mrs.
Stenhouse, who was on her way to the post office when she had her close encounter.
Sargeant Archer admitted that at the moment the police have no suspects, but feels that
most probably the biker was someone from the council estate in Lower Puckering. The bike
has been tentatively identified as a recent model Harley. --Nigel Twicks
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|Puckering Profiles: Martin Johnson, A
Man and His Vegetables
|For Martin Johnson, this time of the year is one of excitement and
trepidation. It is now that a year's work can come to fruit when he lays out his best for
all to see. For his entire adult life, Martin has been the head gardener at Stoney Grove
and much of that time has been spent growing large vegetables for competition.
man not given to many words, Martin can get quite agitated when it comes to the 'Big
Vegetable' contests. "It's cut-throat," he warns. "When I first got
started, I lost a lot of aubergines to some hooligan who crept into the garden at night
and smashed them to pieces. It broke my heart. Several years later a bloke from
Birmingham hopped over the wall on the estate to try and sabotage my courgettes. This time
I was ready for him. He won't be causing mischief no more. I wouldn't leave my babies at
this time of year."
Martin has won prizes in several categories over the years, including carrots and
turnips, but he feels it's with courgettes that he's making his biggest mark. "It's
not just size," he explains. "They look at many things like colour and shape
too. They're really beautiful things, courgettes are. Most people don't look
at em. They just eat em."
Martin is proud to work at Stoney Grove where he has been able to pursue his passion
for large vegetables. He's recently been finding out more about the history of the
landscape at the house, but says that much of it is a little disappointing. "It's all
show and design, I don't think they really loved the plants, they just used them like
furniture. But I do like feeling that there is a history there, that seeds have fallen and
germinated over hundreds of years."
This summer, Martin has been pleased to have his grandson John White working with
him. John grew up in Somerset but came to spend this summer in Puckering after completing
a degree in drama at University. "I believe he could become a good gardener if he put
his mind to it," says Martin proudly. Perhaps it's in his roots. --Nigel Twicks
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