This account of the first Coaley Produce appeared in the Dursley Gazette of 5 September 1942. Some of the classes remain to the present day. However, the class that made the headlines that year has been missing from recent shows!!
Boy’s Collection of 2291 White Butterflies
The actual number of entries for Coaley produce show was 337 and some 320 of these were staged. The judges were Mr S A Sutton head gardener at Tortworth Court (for fruit and vegetables). Miss J C Shaw of the County Agricultural Education Committee (for jam, bottled fruit, cakes etc.) and Lady Stamer (Flowers and floral decorations). They were particularly impressed by the general standard of the exhibits an in several classes had considerable difficulty in awarding their decisions.
Strong classes were runner beans with 21 entries, shallots 21, potatoes onions and apples. The majority of the exhibits reflected credit on the growers in view of the difficult season. The home made cakes (to a specified recipe), jam, scones and bottled fruit, in the opinion of the judge, reached a high standard. A collection of 2291 dead white butterflies by Harry Kaye was a notable feature and the runner-up Godfrey Hale had well over 1100.
The show was opened by Alderman H W Prout, Alderman Prout who was introduced by Mr G Brown spoke in appreciative terms of the show and of the food production club, he made particular mention of the work done by the Secretary (Mr R Carter) and the Committee in so successfully organizing the show. He hoped more gardeners would join the club and so carry on and increase the work of ‘digging for victory’. A vote of thanks was moved by Mr A Davies.
A demonstration of tomato bottling was given by Miss J C Shaw and was very interesting and instructive, and was attended by a large audience and appreciation of Miss Shaw’s demonstration was voiced to her by Mrs H S Prout, secretary of the Coaley WI. An encouraging feature was the large number of people who came to see it and went to Miss Shaw’s demonstration.
Prize winners were
In the evening, a sale of produce was conducted by Mr T Major. The satisfactory sum of nearly £9 was made from this and half of this amount will go to the Red Cross. Following this Mr G H Hill presented the prizes to the successful exhibitors. A vote of thanks to Mr Hill was proposed by the Secretary, Mr R Carter who took the opportunity of thanking the subscribers, exhibitors, committee and lady helpers and everyone who had done anything to achieve the excellent results seen in the show. He also urged his hearers to become members of the Food Production Club if they were not already members. His remarks were endorsed by Mr A Davies, when he proposed a vote of thanks to the Secretary for his efforts on behalf of the show.