Laburnum Grove Junior School's garden club members give winning lessons

Green-fingered children at a Bognor Regis school gave a lesson in winning at this year's town show.

The four members of Laburnum Grove Junior School's garden club, aged eight to 11, came first in one of the show's categories.

Their assortment of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers was judged good enough to win the top prize for the assortment of at least three vegetables.

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The winning collection had been chosen by two of the pupils the night before the show at the end of last month at the Hawthorn Road recreation ground.

They returned to be presented with their certificate at the prize-giving.

Garden club organiser Jack Thompson, a local resident and allotment holder, said its members spent up to 90 minutes twice a week tending to their crops. They were grown in a greenhouse and raised beds in the school's grounds.

"A lot of the children's enjoyment comes from the fact they are allowed to get dirty," he said. "They also enjoy seeing things grow from nothing. But I get them to do the weeding as well."

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He said next year would see the club try to take the prize for the largest marrow.

For four-year-old Kiera Martin, the show was her first experience of success. She claimed second prize for making an animal or insect from vegetables. She put together a pineapple, courgettes, carrots, tomatoes and peppers and cauliflower.

"I enjoyed putting it together," she said. "And I'm pleased I've come second."

Proud mum Caroline Martin, 28, of Holland Close, said: "It's the first time Kiera has won anything.

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"She's about to start school at The Glade and she'll take her certificate in to show everyone what she's been doing during the summer holidays."

She added: "I've not been to the show before and I think it's quite a good turnout."

The exhibit tent at the show '“ run by Bognor Regis Horticultural Society '“ attracted 53 entries from 30 exhibitors.

There was plenty of fun elsewhere as the show returned outdoors after a year undercover. A quad bike circuit, five-a-side football, a drumming workshop and free arts and crafts ensured enjoyment all round.

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Cook and eat sessions provided the chance to make a tasty and healthy snack and The Wonder Girls pom pom dancers were among those giving displays.

The police and the Arun Neighbourhood Network for older people were present with advice. A car boot sale of more than 30 vehicles provided plenty of chances for bargains.

Mum and show volunteer Joanne Gowar said: "Coming along is a fantastic opportunity to get out and get to know the community."

Carole Fullick, the show's organiser from Bognor Community Action Network (CAN), said: "It's been a real team effort with 20 volunteers who have worked hard for the past two weeks.

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"That's what Bognor CAN is all about '“ getting the community to take responsibility for themselves and helping others."

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