RETIRED building surveyor Peter Glazebrook was not only celebrating a new world record with his onion at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show but success in other giant vegetable classes.
Tension built up at the Great Yorkshire Showground yesterday as the weigh-in reached its climax in the National Onion Championship as the reading on the scales got higher and higher.
There were cheers for Mr Glazebrook, 67, when his gigantic entry at 17lb 15.5oz smashed the previous world record of 16lb 8.37oz which had stood since 2005. “It’s taken me over 25 years of growing but I have finally done it,” said Mr Glazebrook.
He had won the championship for the previous three years at the show and vowed last year to make a special effort this year for the North of England Horticultural Society’s centenary show. “This year instead of 25 I grew only 10 so I could concentrate my attention on them and grew them in individual containers rather than general raised beds.”
New at this year’s show are other giant vegetable classes and Mr Glazebrook from Halam, Newark, also picked up the awards for the heaviest cabbage with his entry weighing in at 64lb 2oz, the heaviest potato at 6lb 10.75oz, the heaviest tomato weighing 2lb 11.25oz, the longest runner bean at 31in and longest cucumber at 32.5in.
But pensioner Jimmy Reid from Gilling West in North Yorkshire managed to beat him in the heaviest marrow competition with his gigantic entry at 107lb 6oz which needed two men to carry it in to the hall.
The winner of the National Carrot Championship was Ian Simpson from Scotland, while the National Leek Championship went to David Metcalfe from Nelson – but there was a Yorkshire winner in the National Potato Championship with David Peel from Mirfield. The National Vegetable Society’s silver medal went to Bob Lind from Ayrshire, while in another new introduction to the show the Master Gardener award for a display made up of a vase of flowers, a pot plant and a dish each of fruit and vegetable went to John Smiles from Tong, Bradford.
Another new feature is the introduction of a fruit class for professional gardeners from private estates which included Harewood and Castle Howard, but the winner was the display by the head gardener at Mulgrave Castle in North Yorkshire, His basket of fruit from “the Big House” featured not only pears, apples, plums, grapes and medlars but peaches, quince and even oranges.
Numerous societies hold their own championships as part of the autumn show, making the specialist societies marquee the biggest of its kind in the UK with a stunning array of colours. The National Dahlia Society had one of its biggest entries for years. The award for the best vase in the show went to Jimmy Heginbottom from Barrow with his display of Kiwi Gloria. The National Chrysanthemum Society Northern Group’s Best Vase Award was won by Brian Sidebottom from Gildersome, Leeds, with the best exhibit in nine vases going to Tony Walters from Stoke. The best in show at the North of England Bonsai Association was Des Lloyd from Gainsborough.
The show ends at 5.30pm tomorrow (SUN).