Hertfordshire resident Chas Hodges publishes gardening book

AS one half of legendary pop duo Chas ‘n’ Dave, the multi-instrumentalist Chas Hodges has always been good with his hands.

But it seems it’s not just music he can turn them to. For it just so happens that for as long as the London-born rocker has been playing with his mate Dave Peacock, he’s also been a passionate gardener.

Now Chas is about to launch a book on his love for cultivation. Chas and his Rock ‘N’ Roll Allotment is due for release later this month, featuring hints, tips and stories about his time spent out on the allotments of Hertfordshire.

“I started in about 1972 [the same year Chas ‘n’ Dave formed]. Me and the family had just moved to Broxbourne and had a nice big garden, enough space for an allotment, and that’s how I got into it.”

Having now been growing his own veg for the best part of 40 years, it was Chas’ wife, Joan, who suggested he publish a book on the subject.

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“After writing the Chas and Dave story [All About Us], I didn’t know what to do with myself. I fancied writing another book, but I didn’t know what.

“My wife got one of those gardening magazines that get given away in newspapers, and there was some pretty pathetic stuff in there.

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“She said to me ‘you could show them a thing or two’ and it was just ‘ping’! I knew what I was going to do.”

So what’s his top tip for would-be garden enthusiasts?

“My philosophy of life, for anything, is little but often. I’ve seen people go mad for two or three weeks sweating their guts out on an allotment.

“Then you don’t see them for three weeks and everything’s ruined. You need to get over there everyday if you can, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.”

With a foreword from Jools Holland, the book features a series of vignettes and anecdotes about his life as both a famous musician and amateur gardener.

“There’s a few funny stories in there,” Chas said.

“I like to think it’s an enjoyable read.”

Chas and his Rock ‘N’ Roll Allotment is released on August 20.

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