Weighing in with the Wigan Big Veg prize guys

Darren Wrudd with his gigantic cabbage
Darren Wrudd with his gigantic cabbage

The annual Big Veg competition run by New Sprigs Allotment Society at the weekend was once again a huge success.

Together with yearly judging of all the plots in July, each September members line up for the weigh off before trophies are awarded at the November prize night for the best and biggest produce.

Categories like heaviest cabbage, marrow, pumpkin and onion or longest bean, have been hotly contested for years and there are some growers who manage to surprise each year with monster produce and 2019 certainly did not let anyone down.

As the crowd gathered and weighing began, heaviest cabbage came down to a close competition between husband and wife Glenda and Darren Wrudd.

Moments later, as Darren did his victory dance there were smiles all round and jokes that evening meals might be quiet for a while.

With Mick Darbyshire’s 55lb pumpkin weighed in, attention turned to the giant onion section and treasurer Andrew Horrocks, stepped up with a beauty.

Ably assisted by his grandchildren Abigail and Alex, he swept away the competition to take the title with a huge specimen weighing in at nearly nine pounds.

Then it was finished off with Lewis Piper and his giant cucumber, Barry Openshaw’s whopping tomato and Terry Maguire’s longest bean which came in at 30 inches long!

The winners were formally announced by Chairman Hughie McIlwaine and as the applause finished, then came the question what to do with a 30lb cabbage.

It is looking like Ernie, a goat belonging to one of the members, is in for a tasty time.

As probably the oldest allotment society in the borough, New Springs Horticultural Society trace their history back 140 years and over the decades have evolved into a well run and family focused society with a growing social scene.

With members of all ages and backgrounds, they have one thing in common - a desire to grow and produce fruit and vegetables.

A spokesman said: “Long gone are the stereotypical old blokes club, instead we have many younger members and all are made welcome.

“So if you fancy joining a friendly group of growers, why not put your name down for a plot and come and find out what all the fuss is about.”

Email your details to the secretary Pat on phend@hotmail.co.uk.