Cream of the Crop – World Record Breaking Malvern Autumn Shows

26th September 2016

Welcoming more than 65,000 people through the gates of the Three Counties Showground, the Malvern Autumn Show was once again a record breaking seasonal spectacle.

The feast of family entertainment included four world record breaking giant vegetables, a bumper crop of gold medals in the RHS Flower Show, top Chef Tom Kerridge, gardening guru Carol Klein and debonair dancer Anton du Beke.

Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties said of this year's event: “What a fantastic finale to our 2016 show season. What other show brings you World Record Breaking Giant Veg, culinary masterclasses with Tom Kerridge, dance demos with Anton du Beke and the very best in food and horticulture? The sun has shone throughout the weekend and the atmosphere has been tremendous.  We hope that everyone that visited us has enjoyed themselves as much as we have and we're already looking forward to our next show, RHS Malvern Spring Festival on 11th - 14th May 2017."

For the third year running the Malvern Autumn Show played host to the UK National Giant Vegetable Championships, sponsored by CANNA.  This year's championships welcomed a record breaking number of entries, up 20% on last year, with over 360 entries from nearly 80 competitors.  A staggering four world records have been broken and at least one UK record.  

2016 saw two new categories introduced, Heaviest Bell Pepper and Heaviest Red Cabbage and it was in this category that one of the world records was smashed.  Triple world record holder David Thomas from Hayle in Cornwall has beaten the previous record by almost 4.5kg with his monster red cabbage weighing in at a staggering 23.2kg, the same weight as the average 7 year old child.  This record has stood for over 90 years, set by Mr. R Straw in 1925.

Martyn Davis, official judge for the Championships and National Vegetable Society representative said: "We are delighted to confirm that David Thomas is officially the title holder of World's Heaviest Red Cabbage and has broken the previous record by such an impressive amount.  We're thrilled that David's colossal cabbage and the other record breakers have added such fantastic interest to the whole competition at Malvern Autumn Show."

Other world record breakers include World's Longest Carrot, 6.245m, World's Longest Beetroot, 7.956m and World's Longest Radish, 5.023m, all grown by Joe Atherton from Mansfield.  A UK Record for the Heaviest Kobra Gourd was set by Peter Marston, the gargantuan gourd weighed in at 16.92kg.

As always Malvern Autumn Show played host to some top celebrities; top tv Chef and much-loved Gloucester boy Tom Kerridge took to the stage in the Cookery Theatre and shared some of his seasonal dishes with visitors, BBC Gardener's World presenter Carol Klein revealed why Autumn is her favourite time of year and Strictly star Anton du Beke demonstrated why he's one of the nation's favourite dancers.

 

UK GIANT VEG CHAMPIONSHIP 

For 2016, this area of the show broke four world records and received a record number of entries – over 360, up almost 20% on 2015 figures: 

  • World’s Longest Beetroot measuring 7.956 metres, three quarters of a metre longer than the previous record.  Grown by Joe Atherton, Mansfield.

  • World’s Longest Radish measuring 5.023 metres long, grown by Joe Atherton, Mansfield.

  • World’s Longest Carrot measuring 6.245 metres, grown by Joe Atherton, Mansfield. 

  • Worlds Heaviest Red Cabbage weighed in at 23.3kg, almost 10lbs heavier than the previous record set in 1925.  Grown by David Thomas, Hayle, Cornwall.

 

RHS FLOWER SHOW

The last outdoor RHS Flower Show of 2016 welcomed over 40 award-winning nurseries with stunning displays of plants, shrubs and produce. 

 

Best In Show – Hampshire Carnivorous Plants 

Matt Soper’s stunning display of carnivorous plants included the introduction of a new Sarracenia hybrid that is due for release next year.  Sarracenia ‘Rita Soper’ x Sarracenia ‘Leah Wilkinson’ is extremely vigorous and has vibrant lime green foliage graduating to pure white frilly lids.  Matt has been exhibiting at Malvern Autumn Show for 19 years and this is the second time that he has been awarded the coveted Best In Show accolade.  Matt’s career medal haul is incredibly impressive, so far he has been awarded well over 100 RHS gold medals, 7 Best In Shows and the coveted Lawrence Medal, an annual honour for the best exhibit shown to the society during the year. 

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

  • Black Country Fuschia Society

  • Chrysanthemums Direct

  • Craig House Cacti

  • Derbyshire Bonsai

  • Dibleys Nurseries

  • Fernatrix

  • Fibrex Nurseries Ltd

  • Hampshire Carnivorous Plants

  • Hare Spring Cottage Plants

  • Hoyland Plant Centre

  • Medwyns of Anglesey

  • Mendip Bonsai Studio 

  • National Dahlia Society

  • Newent Plant Centre

  • Old Court Nurseries

  • Pheasant Acre Plants 

  • Pheasant Acre Plants

  • Plantagogo.com

  • R V Roger Ltd

  • Royal National Rose Society

  • Tale Valley Nursery

  • W Robinson & Son Ltd

 

SILVER GILT WINNERS

  • British Fuchsia Society

  • Chris Cooke

  • Fibrex Nurseries Ltd

  • Green Jjam Nurseries

  • Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants

  • Hartside Nursery Garden

  • Heucheraholics

  • Jacques Amand International Ltd

  • Kelnan Plants

  • Nerine and Amaryllid Society

  • Oska Copperfield

  • T3 Plants – Wall End Nursery

  • Tynings Climbers – National Collection of Passiflora

  • Wack’s Wicked Plants

 

SILVER WINNERS

  • Floyds Climbers

  • Fuchsia Friends

  • Garden of Japan

  • Glens Garden

  • Hayloft Plants Ltd

  • Hooksgreen Herbs

  • John Cullen Gardens

  • Plant Heritage

  • Plantbase

  • Potash Nursery

 

BRONZE WINNERS

  • C & K Jones

  • C Newberry and Son

  • High Park Nursery

  • Westdale Nurseries

A number of nurseries launched new varieties at the Malvern Autumn Show. Floyds Climbers introduced Clematis ‘Paulii’, together with Hampshire Carnivorous Plants that introduced a new Saracenia hybrid that will be named and launched next year.  Local grower T3 Plants showcased a new Abutilon ‘Worcestershire Belle’ and is launching another new variety named in honour of Gloucestershire at next year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival. 

HOPSHIRE CHAMPION BEER COMPETITION

Hopshire, a growers and brewers collective launched in 2013, crowned the Hopshires Champion Bottled Beer at the Malvern Autumn Show. Brewing members from the collectives three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire were invited to enter. The winner was: 

  • 1st Place, Hopshire Champion – Corvedale Brewery – Oatmeal Stout

  • 2nd Place – Hobson’s Brewery – Old Henry

  • 3rd Place – Bewdley Brewery – Flying Hopsman

The three shires of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire together produce more than half of the hops grown in the UK. The number of UK breweries hit an 80 year high in 2015 with more than 1,400 breweries in Britain and new breweries opening at a rate of up to 3 a week over the last 2 years.

STAR STUDDED LINE UP 

Top TV Chef and presenter Tom Kerridge and Strictly Star Anton du Beke headlined the 2016 Malvern Autumn Show. 

Hosted by best-selling author and food writer Mark Diacono from Otter Farm, Tom cooked up a storm in front of a packed out crowd.  Mark also hosted regional Chefs including MasterChef Pro Mark Stinchcombe from Eckington Manor and Oli Blanc, Raymond Blanc’s son who was talking about how to reconnect children with food in support of British Food Fortnight.

Hot off the Strictly dance floor, debonair dancer Anton du Beke demonstrated how to dance like a professional in the Vintage Pavilion and entertained the crowd with behind the scenes snippets of Strictly Come Dancing shenanigans.

BBC Gardeners’ World’s Carol Klein joined fellow gardeners in Q&As sessions. Also sharing expert knowhow were RHS Judges and Nurserymen Jon Wheatley and Martin Fish.

Big Allotment Challenge star, Jonathan Moseley headed up the shows Autumn Floral Fiesta. This area of the show supports British flower growers, giving them a platform to demonstrate the wealth, beauty and diversity of flowers that can be grown in the UK. 

FESTIVAL STATISTICS

  • Over 65,000 people through the gates

  • 360 entries to the UK Giant Vegetable Championships

  • 4 world records broken by the UK Giant Vegetable Championship. 

  • Over 40 award winning nurseries on display in the RHS Flower Show

Next year’s Malvern Autumn Show will take place on Saturday 23 September and Sunday 24 September.  For information, please visit www.malvernautumnshow.co.uk or call 01684 584900.