A CELEBRATION of the humble potato in Whitchurch proved ap-peeling for hundreds of visitors.

Spud fans flocked to the 16th Hampshire Potato Day at Testbourne Community School, in Michedever Road.

More than 100 varieties of potato were available to buy, including some with exotic names, such as the Picasso, the Desiree, the Mozart and the Blue Belle. There were also more traditional varieties, such as the Maris Piper and the British Queen, which is the potato of choice in Northern Ireland.

Visitors could also choose from a selection of peas, beans and shallots, as well as gardening tools and home-made jams.

Terry Klaschka, 76, a member of the Whitchurch Organic Gardening Group, said: “I have been for many years and I think it’s wonderful. It is always a fun day out to pick out my seed potatoes.”

The event was started by a group of keen gardeners from Whitchurch, after they discovered their nearest potato festival was in far-off Coventry.

Organiser Phil Cooper said: “There’s nothing special about the potato except it’s the basis for most British meals.

"If you go to a supermarket, there will be five different types of potato, mainly because they are all economic to grow. Here, we have 109 varieties and they are all organic.”