Queen Heather celebrates after her 35 stone monster takes Pirton pumpkin show title

Former champs Fred West, Derek Cook and Bill Saunders flank 2014's Queen Pumpkin, and defending cham

Former champs Fred West, Derek Cook and Bill Saunders flank 2014's Queen Pumpkin, and defending champion, Heather Dawkins - Credit: Archant

Pirton’s famous annual pumpkin show celebrated its golden jubilee at the weekend, and the village hall was packed with giant fruit transformed into all manner of crazy creations.

The colourful display from people of all ages featured great sailing galleys, spiders, snowmen and even caped crusading crimefighter Batman fashioned from seasonal produce.

As ever the main attraction of the show was the heavyweight category, with keen growers battling it out with their monster efforts as they vied for the title of King or Queen Pumpkin.

This year the crown went to Queen Pumpkin Heather Dawkins, whose entry weighed in at an amazing 221 kilos – just a little shy of 35 stone.

She said she just planted it in an old compost site and it grew – and grew!

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The winning entry is now on display at the Waitrose supermarket in Hitchin.

When the show began 50 years ago, ‘Blackie’ Dawson won the first title with a pumpkin of 46lb 2oz (20.8kg). The size of the pumpkins may have changed but the ethos of the club to ‘grow pumpkins with good humour’ has remained.

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The show finished with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and the cutting of a pumpkin-shaped cake by founding members Derek Cook and Bill Saunders.

In other classes, Jake McCreith won the children’s championship, Tony Primett took the honours for heaviest onion and marrow, Fred West won the classes for heaviest apple, heaviest potato, longest carrot and longest green bean, while Ron Maceachern won the oddest-shaped vegetable class and the prize for a matched pair.

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