Growers have come up with the goods

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HARDY growers defied the soggy summer by exhibiting their finest flowers, fruit and vegetables at a popular horticultural show.

Hartlepool Horticultural Show, regarded as one of the best in the North of England, was held at the weekend.

Organisers say the wet summer had an impact on the number of entries but hailed it a success after several similar country shows fell victim to the bad weather.

Growers from all over the region travelled to the Borough Hall, on the Headland, to show off their prize produce and compete for the prestigious titles on offer.

Show secretary Tom Hammond said: “Everything went very well and we were very pleased.

“Considering this has been the worst year for horticulture for many years we got a good turnout.

“The standard of all the entrants was extremely good considering what we have gone through.”

The show on Saturday attracted 403 exhibits in categories covering all kinds of flowers, vegetables and fruit.

That was down by just 10 entries compared to last year.

A steady stream of visitors also passed through the borough hall during the day.

The Great Yorkshire Show was cancelled for the first time in 154 years last month because of the weather as well as The Cleveland Show.

Tom added: “I have been to five or six shows this year and none have been as good as Hartlepool.

The show, supported by Hartlepool Borough Council, featured 110 classes including allotment produce and a children’s section.

It also incorporated the hotly-contested National Gladiolus Society Northern Exhibition.

The Round Table Trophy for best In show was won by Kevin Earl, from Thornley, for his vase of carnations.

The best budding gardeners in the children’s section were Liberty Whitfield, Megan Stoddart and Duncan Whitfield.

The gladioli class was won by Philip Orley, from Hartlepool, who also claimed the top prize in the dahlias section.

Best flower display went to Liam Ledger, from Sunderland, while Hartlepool’s Brian Tumilty claimed the National Vegetable Society Medal for best exhibit of vegetables.

The fuchsias section was won by Roseanne Foreman, from Penrith, the pelargoniums category went to Peter McNeilie, from Darlington, and Gordon Wallace, from Gateshead, was top of the roses class.