Your VPA Committee are keen to hold the Winter Show again, covid prevented us last year, so we are seeking your feedback and support to make a success of it. Of course we will make it a ‘safe’ event so that everyone feels comfortable in taking part whether that be making entries, helping on the day or just enjoying viewing everyone’s hard work!

Continue reading “WINTER SHOW 2022”

The Big Harvest Supper and Quiz night

Saturday October 2nd. 6:30pm

The VPA are delighted to welcome you back to the quiz night in the village hall.

A three course Harvest Supper, a welcoming glass of Prosecco (non-alcoholic alternative) and a quiz together with the usual raffle – all for £20 per head. 

Quiz master Richard Abraham, quiz host Shaun McCarthy will run the quiz, Janet the raffle and Julia Maddox the catering.

This year it is a bring your own drink event.

So, it is tables of eight but if you haven’t got an eight we will be able to create a team for you to join, so whether you are singles, couples or full teams, buy your tickets now to avoid missing out on the night.

Tickets can be purchased from Alastair Greene 843667 (please leave a message on the answerphone), June Abraham (07760 144057);; payment by cash or bank transfer to Sort code: 090151 ; Account number: 48549306; Account name: Gaddesden District Village Produce. (Give your surname as the reference and the word ‘Quiz’)

We look forward to hearing from you ASAP, it is just five weeks away so reserve your tickets now and mark your diary as busy!

Any special dietary requirements please advise when purchasing tickets; where possible send details to:

As always we will observe government covid guidelines for events. 

and the winners are….

Congratulations to Mandy Haynes for a marvellous 4.4Kg in the adult section and even more applause for Ollie & Chloe Paterson of Ashridge Farm for a collosal 6.0 Kg in the junior section. Tip here was to grow them in a tyre, plant them in good manure based soil and and water regularly!

Mandy, winner of the adult section
Ollie and Chloe, winners of the junior section
Pom holding up some of the crop
Great display of clean and consistent size spuds from Jean Smith
Val and Jeremy at the weigh in

Thanks to everyone for taking part, we had 70 entries and whilst not everyone lasted the course, in fact some dug them up and ate them prior to the weigh in! it was a lot of fun, with some intra family competition too. Good entries from the Hobleys and the Wise Family. Hope you like the photos.

Weigh in on Sunday morning for the Potato Growing Competition

On Sunday morning, 15th August, 10am to 12 noon in the Village Hall car park we will be doing the weigh in to see who has won prizes for their potato growing skills. You remember we gave you 6 seed potatoes for £1 and the winners (an Adult and a Junior prize) will be the growers who have achieved the greatest weight from their original 6 seed potatoes.

So it is time to harvest those spuds, dig them up and let’s see what you’ve got, who knows what is going on under the surface! Bring them all along the tiddly ones and the big fellas, the beautiful ones and the ugly ones!

See you Sunday

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Summer Newsletter

Thank you so much for your generous plant donations for the Plant Sale. It was a very successful event, good attendance, good income, £837, and so nice for folk to meet up in a safe way for a chat and catch up and the bonus of good weather on the day!

Big thanks to Sue Godar for coordinating the event and to all those who helped on the day.

The Committee feel that it is too soon to have everyone meeting in close proximity for the Summer Show, it would be very difficult to put in place all the measures to make it 100% safe, so we have decided not to have the show in August but aim for the Winter Show now, when hopefully all will be well again.

That means for those in the VPA Great Potato Growing Competition we will have a weigh in on Sunday 15th August in the car park or Store. We do hope that your potatoes are looking good, lots of healthy growth. I guess not too long now until they need to be harvested. Don’t forget there are prizes for the greatest weight from the 6 seed potatoes you started with.

Another reason why we would struggle with the summer show this year is that we have recently lost two of our Committee members, so we are down to a core of five regular committee members and following on from previous pleas we really need help from members either to join the committee or to support the committee for particular events. This might be as simple as setting up tables in the hall, acting as a Steward for a particular class of entry e.g. Cookery, Photography, or flower arranging, taking money on the door, serving tea and cakes etc. There are loads of little tasks to be done, please let us know that you are willing to step up.

If you would like to help then please contact any of the Committee. We have a very successful Association with 200 member households, great store takings, fun events but the events only happen if people step forward and give a little of their time, so please help us make a continuing success of the VPA.

Just to let you know the Committee is seeking quotes for a replacement roof to the store, we occasionally suffer from leaks and we would like better insulation and modern LED lighting. More about that in the next newsletter.

Look forward to seeing you in the store, Happy Gardening.

Your VPA Committee

June Abraham

Alastair Greene

Stuart Buchanan-Barrow

Lin Underwood

Janet Stinton

VPA Plant Sale

Outside the Village Hall in Church Road, Little Gaddesden

This Sunday (23rd May) 10am – 12noon

Perennial and Annual Flower plants, Vegetables, House plants and lots more

Your VPA store will also be open for business as usual

Please bring your plant donations at 9am on Sunday.

We look forward to seeing you rain or shine!

VPA Plant sale

Outside the Village Hall, Church Road, Little Gaddesden

Sunday May 23rd 10am to 12 noon

Perennials and annual flower plants, House plants, Vegetable plants and lots more.

Please bring along any spare plants, seedlings and shrubs that you would like to donate for sale at 9am on the day of the sale


AGM Tuesday 20th April at 7pm

Dear Members
Please find below the AGM report for the meeting that will be held this year by zoom. We invite you to join us for a review of the activities of last year and an optimistic look forward to our plans for the coming year.

Normally we would offer you a glass of wine or two at the Village Hall, I know it’s a Tuesday but we hope you will bring a glass of something you like to the zoom meeting!

To Join Zoom Meeting please click on the line below

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Present at AGM

Committee Members: –

Alison Townsend – Special Projects

Lin Underwood – Store Manager

June Abraham – Events Manager

Stuart Buchanan-Barrow – Treasurer

Alastair Greene – Membership Secretary

Plus a vacancy helping with projects/events


Janet Stinton – Special Projects

Our Committee in pre covid times Feb 2020

Approval of the Minutes from the 2020 AGM

Election of Committee Members

Phil Bunting has stood down from the Committee and the remaining committee would like to thank him and Ali and the boys for their great support, particularly for his competition knowledge and advice, suggestions for improving the administration of events and for the really helpful deliveries to members during lockdown – definitely service over and above!

We are pleased to advise that the remaining Committee members are putting their names forward for re-election but we have a vacancy now that we would like to fill on the night.

New nominations for the Committee

Please step forward, you don’t need any particular knowledge, just the ability to muck in and get things done, especially with our events. Either volunteer in advance of the meeting by contacting a committee member or at the meeting itself. The commitment you make can be limited by you to the time you want to give, so don’t feel it’s an all or nothing thing, across the year it probably only amounts to an hour a week, although some weeks around events may require a bit more time.

Membership 2020/2021 – Alastair Greene

  • Membership numbers grew last year, up from 190 households to 210 (c.10% increase) and so a big welcome to our new members many of whom are new to the village too.  If you have new neighbours don’t forget to mention the VPA to them and encourage them to join, we are a fun village group to be a part of.
  • A reminder that subs are due on 1st April every year. Our strong preference is a standing order subscription, it is just £5 for the household. 75% of subs are now paid this way and it is convenient for everyone really. You can either set that up or ask the membership secretary for the form.
  • Details for payment are as follows; –
    Account name – Gaddesden District Village Produce
    Sort Code 09-01-51
    Account number 48549306
    Please use your name and postcode as identifiers.
    If you do not want to pay by standing order you can make a one-off payment online or a crisp £5 note handed to a Committee Member works ok too!

    We can confirm that we already have 140 payments received since 1st of this month. Thanks very much for your prompt attention to this, it saves us chasing folk across the summer.

If you want to check if you have a standing order in place already just email the membership secretary Alastair Greene at or ring 843667.

  • Don’t forget that through the VPA’s affiliation to the RHS (Royal Horticultural Association) we have 2 tickets we can loan to members that give 30% off entrance to Wisley Gardens, Surrey; Harlow Carr Garden, Harrogate; Hyde Hall Garden, Chelmsford and Rosemoor Garden, Devon. If you can work a visit into a trip, perhaps your holidays, and wish to borrow the tickets, ring 843667.

Garden Store 2020/2021 – Lin Underwood

  • Whilst everyone in the country, seemed overnight suddenly to rediscover their gardens, this created an unprecedented demand on things like composts, that quickly became in short supply at a critical time in the growing season. However, our supplier was able with some judicious substitutions of certain items, to keep up with our deliveries and kept us going.  So, we have managed to supply the needs of our customers and keep the gardens of Little Gaddesden and district growing.
  • We reintroduced this season a range of seed potatoes, plus a selection of vegetable seeds for the enthusiastic gardeners amongst us. Although, our best sellers remain composts and wild bird feed. However, it would be great to see a wider breadth of sales coming from some of the other products on offer.  So, remember we have a great range of essential garden products, at competitive prices, providing both real value and the convenience of being local.
  • Overall turnover is up 79%, so a successful year. The introduction of a card reader last year has certainly paid dividends, becoming the preferred method of payment; so now around 70% of our sales are by card.  We have again remained open throughout the winter, importantly keeping the local bird population well fed, as well as boosting sales!
  • For the last year we have operated the store within Covid guidelines. In June, following the first lockdown, serving our customers we had a table in the car park (weather permitting), wearing face covering and used copious amounts of sanitiser and kept social distancing to introduce a covid safe environment.  Sadly, this meant having to stand down our volunteer team to minimise numbers and keep people safe. However, as restrictions are gradually easing, we are now looking to be able to welcome back our volunteer team, who kindly support the store activities on a Sunday morning. We have been given the seal of approval by passing a Covid inspection by Dacorum Council’s Environmental Health team.  Surprising what a Risk Assessment can do! However, please note, we still need volunteers and no, you certainly do not need to be an expert!    
  • We now just look forward to seeing everyone back, to be able to socialise a little, to continue to offer advice on a variety of garden topics, to solve your garden problems and hopefully, even offer a cup of coffee or tea. To become a place for people to meet up again, to catch up on how they are doing, a degree of normality?

Events last year and this year – June Abraham

  • As the pandemic unfolded last year, we were so pleased to be able to put plans in place for the plant sale. Thanks especially to Sue Godar for organising the event again for us, it was very well managed, social distancing being the key to its safe execution!
    The same is intended this year on Sunday 23 May 2021. Plant donations very much welcomed, please grow extra in your greenhouse for the sale.
  • Later in the year Alison Townsend did a fantastic job with the bulbs event and then Lin and Alison were the organisers of the pop-up Christmas event which was a lot of fun and welcomed by our members.
  • All being well we are hoping to have a summer show on Saturday 28 August 2021 which will include the ‘great potato weigh in’. I hope everyone has their spuds in the ground now, we had a great take up for the VPA potato competition.
  • Good luck with organising your garden layout for the year and we hope that you are rewarded with lots of produce. 

Treasurers Report 2020/2021 – Stuart Buchanan-Barrow

Click for larger image (opens in new tab)
Click for larger image (opens in new tab)

Click here to download both pages of the Treasurer’s Report as a PDF.



  • The web site is one of our methods of communication, firstly as a reference point and secondly for the sending out of newsletters. Andrew Sheard continues to support and advise us on its development. We would welcome any suggestions from members for items that they would like to see added/amended.
  • We are very pleased that Stasia runs our facebook page and Instagram account, a nice way of being reactive to events and issues as they occur and a way of widening our communication channels with members.


The four village planters have been maintained by Janet Stinton and we would like to thank Janet for her continued support on all VPA matters.

Dates for your diary

  • AGM.                          Tuesday 20th April 7pm – by zoom
  • Plant sale.                    Sunday 23rd May
  • Summer Show             Saturday 28th August
  • Bulb sale                     Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September
  • Harvest supper            Saturday 2nd October

Christmas pop up event

March Update

Hi to all our members and a special welcome to those who have just joined the VPA in the last few weeks.

Call for Volunteers
We at the VPA have been looking keenly ahead to when our days become more normal. We hope you have enjoyed the small events that we have been able to offer throughout these strange times. We are trying hard to keep up the various events that we have traditionally undertaken such as the Village Summer and Winter Shows. We are also keen to offer a wider variety of Pop-Up events but we are struggling. We are unable to print the average age of the committee but suffice it to say neither age nor health are on our side!


The next planned VPA event, apart from the AGM (on 20th April, 7pm by zoom, details will be sent out in advance) will hopefully be our Annual Plant Sale on 23rd May which Sue Godar has kindly offered to coordinate for us again this year. Feedback from our sale last year was amazing, as we had been able to offer you all a well organised, socially distanced event. We would struggle to be able to do this again without some help from our members. We desperately need helpers and we would not ask too much of you. You do not have to be a garden expert to volunteer. All we need is a few hours of your time.

If you think that you would like to volunteer please contact any of the members of the committee* or pop into the store on a Sunday morning.

*See our website

Plant Sale donations for 23rd May
An additional request from the Committee to all its members is to add a few seeds for the VPA when you start sowing and if you are dividing plants or removing some to make way for others, then we would be delighted for your plant donations, hold on to them until we give you the event details.

Great Potato Growing Competition

We have had a super response with loads of entries, so good luck to you all with your prep and planting.

Membership renewal

No action required until April 1st, 75% of our members are now on standing order arrangements which makes it easy to manage for the Committee, a reminder will be sent out nearer the time. If you are not sure if you have an automated payment in place email Alastair Greene at  If you have new neighbours moving in please help promote the VPA and encourage them to join one of the great village institutions.

RHS discounted entry tickets

We have two tickets that give a member and an adult guest 30% off entry to the RHS gardens of Wisley, Harlow Carr, Rosemoor and Hyde Hall. (see all garden links below).

Please call Alastair Greene 843667 or any Committee member if you wish to borrow them.

RHS Garden Wisley : Days and events in Surrey / RHS Gardening,

RHS Garden Harlow Carr | Events & attractions in Harrogate, Yorkshire / RHS Gardening

RHS Garden Rosemoor | Fun, family days out & events in North Devon / RHS Gardening

RHS Garden Hyde Hall | Events & attractions in Chelmsford, Essex / RHS Gardening

End of post

Great Potato Growing Competition

Great start last weekend.
Thanks to all those keen members who have already collected their competition potatoes.
The store team will be there tomorrow 10am – 12 noon, or you can order from Alastair (843667) who will deliver to your home, so don’t miss the opportunity to join i
n @ £1 an entry. Get the whole family involved.

All you need to do is purchase 6 seed potatoes from the VPA, then its down to each grower. Potatoes are easy to grow, either in the ground of course but if you don’t have the room then large containers can work well, they can even be grown in a bin bag providing you give it drainage and some support.
The winner will be the entry that has generated the greatest weight of new spuds from the original 6.

Continue reading “Great Potato Growing Competition”