Gardeners’ Question Time’ at Paxton

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Paxton Village Hall will be hosting a recording of the popular BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ on Wednesday, May 3,

If you have a gardening question you want answered then now is your chance to challenge the expert panel who will be in Paxton to record the programme. Doors open at 5pm to start recording at 6.30pm and with the hall able to take an audience of around 130, there could be some interesting questions put to the panel.

Catherine Home Robertson and the village hall committee have long been lobbying for the show to be recorded in the village.

When Catherine attended a programme recording at the Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, last year she spoke to the recording crew and managed to convince them that with its flower shows and onion shows there was sufficient interest in gardening in Paxton and the surrounding area to ensure there would be some interesting questions from the audience.

They finally agreed and members of the audience are all asked to come armed with questions on the day of recording.

It is a ticket only event and they are being made available on Tuesday, April 25, and Tuesday, May 2, between 2-4pm at Paxton Village Hall. If you want to take part on the day but can’t get along to pick up a ticket you can also get them by contacting the village hall committee on or phone Alison Douglas on 01289 386221.

The first Gardeners´ Question Time involved a panel of expert gardeners going along to answer questions from members of the Smallshaw Allotments Association, on April 9, 1947. The format continued on the radio in the north of England for the next ten years and in 1957 the popular gardening programme finally went national.

Over the years over 30,000 gardening question have been answered, but there are still many unanswered gardening questions and the Paxton audience may well be able to add to that number.

For the first 47 years of the show the team were shown the questions in advance, but that tradition was dropped in 1994. Nowadays being a panel member is not for the faint-hearted but only for those with a depth of gardening knowledge and an incisive grasp of a question.

The date when the show will be heard on Radio 4 is not yet known but it is likely to be in the near future as gardening questions are generally seasonal and like plants can’t be kept waiting.