Lea Valley Growers Association
37-39 Turners Hill
Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, EN8 8NP
Tel: 01992 625 076
Fax: 01992 640 141
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
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His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent visited a Hertfordshire glasshouse on Tuesday (22 February 2011) as part of celebrations marking the centenary of the Lea Valley Growers’ Association. (LVGA).
The Duke toured Smallford Nurseries in St Albans, operated by Glinwell Plc, a major grower of cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes under glass.
He was welcomed by Glinwell director Joe Colletti and LVGA chairman Gary Taylor and spent more than an hour at the 50 acre site. During the visit he met staff and industry representatives, including NFU vice-president Gwyn Jones, looked around the cucumber and tomato houses, and heard about the history of growing under glass in the Lea Valley.
Memorabilia shown to the Duke included photographs of the last LVGA royal visit, when HRH the Queen Mother came to Hertfordshire to mark the association’s golden jubilee.
Before he left, he was presented with an engraved crystal salad bowl commemorating the occasion, as well as a selection of salad crops.
Gary Taylor said: “After 50 years a royal visit was long-overdue and we were delighted the Duke was able to join us today to help celebrate 100 years as an association.
“This demonstrates in one nursery most of the relevant protected edible crops grown in the Lea valley, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers.
We were able to show the Duke the whole process of growing, grading and packing and it was an excellent business to showcase UK horticulture, just a stone’s throw from London.”
Glinwell director Sam Cannatella said: “We were delighted to welcome the Duke to Glinwell and the visit went very well.
This was the first time he had visited a glasshouse and he was very interested in everything that goes on here.
Other LVGA representatives meeting the Duke included president Nigel Copping, committee member Nick Giardina, David Everett, Tony Stevenson and treasurer David Harker