Mansfield Woodhouse leek and bean pod break world record whilst Clipstone squash comes third in battle of giants

A Mansfield Woodhouse gardener has collected two more world records after growing the longest leek and heaviest broad bean pod at the battle of the giants veg growing competition at Malvern.

By Dale Spridgeon
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:53 pm

Veteran gardener Joe Atherton, who has collected 16 world records, currently holding eight, has now grown the longest leek, measuring 1.36m (4ft 5.5in) - 14cm longer than the previous record, and the heaviest broad bean pod, 106g (3.74oz) in CANNA’s UK National Giant Vegetables Championship.

Expert growers gathered at the weekend to battle it out at the Three Counties Showground, during the Malvern Autumn Show, where Guinness World Records adjudicators and representatives officiated.

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The heaviest broad bean pod was grown by Joe Atherton (left). He received his Guinness World Record from Craig Glenday at the Three Counties Malvern Autumn Show. Photos by Anna Lythgoe

The 66-year-old, also recently won big at the Harrogate Autumn Show with the heaviest beetroot,’ 16.8kg, a second; for the heaviest onion, 6.944kg, third for the heaviest tomato, 171.2g, and third for the heaviest parsnip, 2.524kg. He also got a fifth in the potato contest, fourth in the runner beans and a fourth in the carrots.

The record for the heaviest aubergine at Malvern, weighing 3.12kg (6lb 14oz), was won by Peter Glazebrook of Newark.

A spectacular squash grown by 30-year-old Craig Pearson, a kitchen fitter from Clipstone was also third at Malvern, weighing 398lb.

The longest leek grown by Joe Atherton. The Guinness World Record certificate was presented to Joe by Craig Glenday at the Three Counties Malvern Autumn Show. Photos by Anna Lythgoe

Craig had previously won the heaviest cabbage, weighing 26.2kg and a first in the novice category for the longest runner bean, 65.3cm at Harrogate.

His partner Chloe Paulson, who is expecting a baby, and helped Craig tend the squash said: “It was great fun at the show, we really enjoyed it. We left the squash down there on display, it was bit too big to bring it back home again!

“It was our first time at Malvern, it really fired Craig up thinking what he could enter in the future, but for now we are concentrating on growing the family, our baby is due in October.”

Craig Pearson with his spectacular squash!

Mr Atherton, said: “I’m over the moon, the bean pod was a new world record set at show to be over 100g, mine was 106g, the only one over 100g. The leek, I first set it last year, and it has won at 1.36m.

"You never expect to win, you haven’t a clue what turns up. It is one of the biggest shows in the world. It’s marvellous.”

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Joe Atherton with his 16.8kg winning beetroot which he won at the 2021 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, at Newby Hall, held the week before the Malvern show