IT’s the joint oldest club of its kind in the UK. And 150 years after being founded, the Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society annual show remains as popular as ever.
Delightful dahlias, luscious leeks and colourful chrysanthemums were just some of the offerings at this year’s 150th anniversary show at the weekend.
The annual three-day event, which is always held in the grounds of the Lord Nelson pub in Monkton Village, Jarrow, attracted hundreds of visitors.
The event also coincided with Bandfest, which saw a number of local bands perform.
Society chairman Tommy Powell said: “We’ve had an excellent turn-out. Several hundred people came through the doors over the weekend, it was fantastic.
“I think the event remains so popular because it’s based upon tradition, and it’s now so renowned it attracts people from all over the area.
“It brings a great sense of community spirit, and while there is a lot of hard work involved, everyone really enjoys themselves.”
While there were fears the inclement weather would cause the flowers to droop, overall the show was hailed as a success.
This year was also extra special because members of Colonel Sir Robert Chapman’s family presented the Chapman Cup, which is presented to the top leek grower.
Sir Robert was a patron of the society from the 1930s.
Mr Powell took the prize for top leek grower, and Trevor Stobbs from South Shields, had the most points overall.
Money has also been raised for St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow – but the final amount still needs to be verified.
Mr Powell said: “We reckon quite a few pounds have been raised for St Clare’s by selling raffle tickets. We had some great prizes.
“In the old days we’d auction off the produce, but now the growers either take it home, or we tend to give it away to anyone who wants it.
“I guess there will be a few leek pies made over the next few days.”