MORE than 1,200 people came out to celebrate the humble spud last weekend.

Around 1,250 people attended Hampshire Potato Day at Testbourne Community School, in Micheldever Road, Whitchurch over the course of the event, which was held on both Saturday and Sunday.

The event, now in its 20th year, with people coming from all over the south to join in, buying potatoes and seeds, and taking part in various activities available throughout the weekend.

Organiser Phil Cooper said: “It was a good sign to see the number of visitors go up again, with Saturday being particularly busy, and people were saying that they really enjoyed themselves.”

As well as the over 100 varieties of potato and seeds that were available to purchase throughout the day, there was also a talk given by horticulturist Chris Bird from Sparsholt College.

Alan Wilson was there with his book, ‘The People’s Potatoes’, and there was also an area for the children to make potato prints with their free potato they were given on arrival.

Mr Cooper added: “Chris was very entertaining as usual, with his interactive talk, and Alan showed off his book, as he has a particular interest in potatoes. It was very encouraging to see so many children there.

"Hopefully a new generation of gardeners will grow.”

The day has grown from humble beginnings, with 500 people attending the first one-day event 20 years ago.

Mr Cooper said: “We started small, having heard of a similar idea in Coventry, and wanted to make a local one. We had no idea that it would get this sort of reaction and it has grown and grown.”

Plans are in place for next year’s Potato Day, with the next event taking place on January 26 and 27, again at Testbourne Community School.