‘We’ve had such a positive reaction’ – Fowlmere and Thriplow Gardening Club prepares to hit the airwaves on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time after a five-year wait

PUBLISHED: 11:01 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:01 25 November 2016

Club members Jill Vinton and Rosemary Jones. Picture: Barry Jones

Club members Jill Vinton and Rosemary Jones. Picture: Barry Jones

Archant

A South Cambs gardening club is about to hit the national airwaves earning a spot on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

Chair Mary Duff with vice chair Sue Pinner.Chair Mary Duff with vice chair Sue Pinner.

The show, where a panel of horticultural experts answer gardening questions from a live audience is recorded in a different location each week, and has quite a waiting list, something Fowlmere and Thriplow Gardening Club chair Mary Duff anticipated when she first contacted them with a whole year’s notice of an important event in the club’s calendar.

“In October 2011 I wrote to Gardeners’ Question Time asking them if they would consider coming to Fowlmere and Thriplow Gardening Club to help us celebrate our golden jubilee the following year.

“A polite acknowledgement was the response.

“Yes, we were disappointed but not downhearted and we still celebrated in style, ending with a superb fine dining event!”

Five years had passed without any word from the production company, and then they got the call.

“Imagine my surprise when just a few weeks ago I received a telephone call asking me if we would like to host the show on November 29 as – you guessed it – they would be recording somewhere else in the area,” Mary said.

“Well, what would you say to that? Yes, yes, yes!”

“Since then our marvellous club members have been working in harmony to prepare for an audience of nearly 200 people in Fowlmere Village Hall.

“We now know all about risk assessments, traffic management, catering for such a number in just over half an hour.

“I am exhausted just thinking about it, but it will all be fine on the night.”

Mary has nothing but praise for how villagers and club members have reacted to their booking.

“The positive reaction of the club members in both of our lovely villages is one reason why I have stayed a member of Folwmere and Thriplow Gardening Club for more than 20 years and been chair for about eight or nine years – the years blur into one another.”

“We are a thriving club with an ever-increasing membership.

“We enjoy soirees in members’ gardens every year, take part in annual weekend breaks.

“2017 will see us visiting gardens in Derbyshire, as well as organising the odd quiz and festive social events and of course talks from excellent speakers.”

Fowlmere and Thriplow Gardening Club are to host BBC Radio 4’s GQT on Tuesday next week at 6.15pm. at Fowlmere Village Hall in Chrishall Road. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Tickets cost £4.50 from Thriplow Shop or Mary Duff on 01763 208479.

GQT is on every Friday at 3pm on BBC Radio 4.

Past episodes are available on the BBC website.

For more on the club go to www.thriplow.org.uk/ftgc/ftgc.php.

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