The brainchild of Mike Greenwood, Geoff and John Brownlee, the Club was set up in March 2002 at The Bay Horse Inn. With only a handful of members, the first show was a modest affair. A 'borrowed' ex-military tent, 'one table' and a selection of 'leeks', ranging from spring onion size to the seriously grown super leeks of John Brownlee - this Show made us realize what we should all be aiming for!
The Club meets on the second Monday of the month at The Bay Horse Inn, when subs are collected and general discussion on leek growing techniques and beer drinking are the order of the evening [is there a connection?] Each member pays £5 which goes into the prize fund. The amount collected is then divided between the exhibitors on the day, on a sliding scale from 1st to last place, with an extra £50 awarded to the best leek in the show. In other words, the Club is more of a savings club.
Membership has gradually crept up to capacity now at 25 members. Each member must be resident within the Parish boundary and the leeks must be grown in a nominated trench within the Parish. Leeks are stamped with a number, individual to the particular member, so that no cheating can take place by leeks being substituted. Two leeks must be tabled for judging on the day. The Club is lucky to have the services of Adrian Read from Scruton who comes each year to judge. He is in much demand, so we have to book him early and the date of the Show is greatly reliant on when he is available. Adrian spends a great deal of time judging leeks.
They must be 6 inches to a tight button; if over this they are on the discard table! A formula is applied from the measured width of the leek, the measurement to the tight button and from this the cubic capacity is obtained. Additional marks are awarded for condition, straightness and leanliness (no blemishes, etc.). Adrian's helpful comments each year have helped improve the quality of our leeks and this year virtually all of the 23 sets exhibited were fine examples.
Each member supplies one leek, which is donated to Cockburn's butchers, who recycle them into pork and leek sausages. These are then available at the barbeque on the Show day and also to purchase in the shop.
From November onwards, members begin again the trench preparation ready for the new leek plants, on which their hopes are pinned for success at the following years show. Secret ingredients and a lot of 'bullshit' goes into the production of prize leeks. If you haven't ventured to the Show before, make it a date for next time - and see what all the fuss is about. And remember, a leek trench in your garden is a definite additional selling point for your property and we are assured planning permission is not required!
c/o The Bay Horse 01677 422548
Tel: 01677 423862
Tel: 01677 425619
Tel: 01677 422548