New champ ploughs on to take top leek title
THE name of a new champion vegetable grower has been "leek-ed" to the Grimsby Telegraph.
The annual awards for Tetney's Leek Club's competition saw scores of villagers pile into The Plough Inn to cast their eye over some of the largest leeks in Lincolnshire.
And the 23rd annual growing contest saw a new champion crowned after coming last place for two years on the trot.
Terry Lowe, 69, took home the first place trophy, along with two more for Most Improved Leek and Best In Show.
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He was delighted to come out on top after nine months of carefully tending to his leeks in his back garden at his home in Hoop End.
He said: "I didn't think I had a chance of winning because they were smaller than last year's and I came last then!
"I am very pleased, especially after coming last for the past two years."
Each contestant entered two leeks which were measured by volume. Terry's combined were 60.80 cubic inches. He lost the previous two years because he allowed his leeks to flower which is an automatic disqualification.
The competition is unique to Tetney and run by the club, of which there are 18 members.
Each keeps their leek's progress a closely guarded secret, playing down their size over pints in the pub on a Friday night.
Chairman Nick Lammin said: "It is a social tradition which we love in the village.
"Last night we were all sat round and everyone was playing down the size of their leeks. There is a lot of secrecy that goes on which adds to the fun."
But it isn't so secret that he couldn't disclose the secret to successful leek growing to the Telegraph.
He added: "It is a case of lots of tender, loving care when they are very small. You have to keep their feet warm."
The club is growing all the time and in recent years has attracted more members.
The latest recruit is Cath Turner, who took home the prize for Best Newcomer.
She added: "I was in the pub last year and I enjoyed the atmosphere the club brought, so I decided I would join them. I mentioned it once and they didn't let me forget!
"I got a lot of support from the rest of the club. We are competitive but it is never over the top. It is nice to be a part of a friendly group. It is a lovely village tradition."
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