Seaham veg grower smashes world leek record for second time

Paul Rochester smashed the world record for the heaviest leek at a show in Malvern. Pictures: The Giant Veg.

Paul Rochester smashed the world record for the heaviest leek at a show in Malvern. Pictures: The Giant Veg.

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A Seaham veg grower has dug up more success after smashing a world record for the second time.

Paul Rochester, 57, weighed in with a leek of 23lbs 4.2oz at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground, beating the previous record by almost 2lbs.

It’s a big achievement to have done it, and I’m over the moon about it

Paul Rochester

He had set a previous world record a year ago with a leek weighing 21lb 8oz at South Causey Arch Horticultural Show in County Durham.

The new record was set at Malvern, in Worcestershire, and Paul – who works as a machine operator for G O’Brien and Sons, in Boldon – was left “over the moon”.

He said: “I was invited down there by the organiser of the event, and I promised to try to break the world record again.

“It’s a big achievement to have done it, and I’m over the moon about it. There were people at the event from all over the country, and to win it left me chuffed.

“I’ve raised the bar now.”

It was Paul’s latest taste of success, having won a heaviest onion title in 2007 with a vegatable of more than 15lb. He was taught gardening skills by his father, Wilfred, and has an allotment in Northlea.

Paul is part of a community of big veg growers on social networking site Facebook, and was invited to the event by organiser Kevin Fortey in the hope he would break another record.

He added: “I’m part of the giant vegetable community on Facebook, and people from as far away as Australia are on it.

“I joined up and the organiser messaged me, asking me to take some leeks down and try to break the world record again. I could have entered a local competition at Harrogate recently, but I promised Kevin that I would keep hold of one to take down to his show.

“All of the lads in the giant vegetable community were saying I was going to smash the record again this year, so to have done it is fantastic.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/groups/giantvegetablecommunity or www.giantveg.co.uk