Sunflower fun for Elwick village children

Clare Riddle from The McOrville Pub Elwick Village with Elizabeth Smith as they look at the sun flowers
Clare Riddle from The McOrville Pub Elwick Village with Elizabeth Smith as they look at the sun flowers
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GROWING dozens of sunflowers has been no tall order for the youngsters of Elwick - but only one can hit the heights of being crowned village champion.

The beer garden of the McOrville Inn has been transformed into a mass of the tall and colourful sunflowers, all adopted and cared for by the village’s young residents.

Clare Riddle from the McOrville Pub in Elwick Village with village children (left to right) Elizabeth Lavelle, Grace Mailen, Darcey Hall, Yve Mailen, Abigail Lavelle, Cody and Morgan Hall who are jumping for joy at the size of their Sunflowers.

Clare Riddle from the McOrville Pub in Elwick Village with village children (left to right) Elizabeth Lavelle, Grace Mailen, Darcey Hall, Yve Mailen, Abigail Lavelle, Cody and Morgan Hall who are jumping for joy at the size of their Sunflowers.

Some have grown as tall as eight feet since the pub’s licensee Clare Riddle planted 48 sunflower seeds earlier this summer.

Ever since then, children have made constant trips back and forth caring for their own sunflower in the hope theirs can grow to be the very tallest.

And this weekend a judge will decide which green-fingered youngster has worked the magic to grow the tallest sunflower.But good news for the children who aren’t named in the top three, Clare said the fun competition has proved such a success it will be back next year.

The 33-year-old told the Mail: “I started the competition because I thought it was something a little bit different and a bit of fun.

“It had a bit of a slow start but as soon as the sunflowers started to really grow the kids couldn’t get enough.

“We have a few now that are about eight feet and still growing, they might grow even more by the time judging comes round on Saturday.”

From toddlers to nine and 10 year olds, dozens of pupils from St Peter’s Elwick CE Primary School all got involved with the contest.

Clare added: “I think the weather helped, especially earlier in the summer when the sun was shining every day. It will be a challenge for the kids to see if they can grow even taller sunflowers next year.”

The sunflower judging on Saturday afternoon is just one part of a packed weekend in the pub.

A Play Your Cards Right-style competition will be held on Friday evening before the children discover who is the sunflower champ on Saturday.

And on Sunday, Clare is welcoming more than 150 scooters as a rally stops off at the pub for an afternoon and evening of live music.