Terry Bunyard, from Hurst, was voted honorary life vice president of the Hurst Horticultural and Cottage Garden Society to thank him for serving as chairman for 29 years.

A special presentation was made to Mr Bunyard last month by the society’s president, Lady Watt, at The Castle Inn, Hurst.

Mr Bunyard was given a gift of gardening tokens together with a well-dressed scarecrow and said his involvement over the years had been a labour of love as gardening and village life had been his passion.

He paid tribute to his wife Rita, who had been secretary for almost as long as her husband was chairman.

Frank Whittaker, the current secretary, said: “The horticultural and produce show was once part of a massive show known as “Berkshire`s greatest holiday show”, with thousands attending, special buses and trains laid on, wrestling, military displays and bands, vintage motorcycle clubs, fun fairs, and even the Dagenham Girls Piper Band.

“That big show ceased in the 80s but there are still fond memories of it in and around Hurst.

“When Terry took over as chairman there was a shortage of volunteers and the show was dying but his enthusiasm and energy, together with his wife Rita who became secretary, breathed new life into the show.” Mr Bunyard – who moved to the village in 1974 – said helping the annual show continue is one of his greatest achievements.

He said: “It`s the perfect English country day, capturing something about village life that still exists.” “We keep it friendly and family orientated and encourage children to enter and become involved, indeed many of the parents who have entered were first encouraged to enter the show by their parents when they were children.” One of the many initiatives Terry introduced into the show was the 'Men only Apple Flan’ competition which is now one of the most hotly contested classes at the show and the winner, on receiving the winner’s crown is admitted to the village’s elite club for past winners 'La Confrerie de la Tarte aux Pommes’.

This year’s show will be held on Saturday, August 16 at the Hurst Village Halls.