Roger Binghams’s name is rarely used without the prefix “irrepressible”- there is a hint as to why in this photo of him. Roger was a guest today at our annual garden party and although there were weightier matters to hand, he was full of irrepressible excitement at his success in the Milnthorpe Horticultural Society, from which he had just come. He clutched a handful of certificates for prizes, in 3rd, 2nd and 1st places, in categories such as Lemon Curd and Raspberry Jam (if my memory serves me well). He was particularly proud of the fact that he has been winning prizes at this show since 1952, when he was 5 years old.
Roger’s exuberance reminded me of Antonio Carluccio’s rant against the English, when he said they couldn’t care less about food (see my posting for August 26th, headed ‘Antonio Carluccio talking nonsense’). What Mr Carluccio doesn’t understand and probably doesn’t know is that every town and village in England is holding similar events to the one attended by Roger, and they are all well attended by people passionate about food. As an example, the Evening Mail today has an article about the 68th annual Greenodd and District Horticultural Show, held in their Village Hall. The show attracted a record 759 entries, from people of all ages, including 190 from the village primary school and prizes were awarded in categories as diverse as “the best plate of coloured potatoes” and “the best exhibit of tomatoes”. I’m certain that in 50 years time some of those schoolchildren will be exitedly clutching prize certificates, much as Roger did today.