The PuckeringPuckering Gazette logo Gazette

Volume XXXII, No. 29

Saturday, September 4, 1999             50p.

Previous Edition

Next Edition

Cuppa with Shirley
Ann's Letters
Simon's E-mail
House and Grounds
Site Map
Letters to the Editor
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 plants.

"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

Links are provided as a service to our readers.  The Puckering Gazette has no control over the content of the sites linked to, nor does the link imply any endorsement of the Gazette by these sites.
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.

A quiet 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


For news and information about Puckering contact the Puckering Gazette: