Decline in visitors fells top leek show
SHOW leek growing has its roots in the region’s mining culture.
After a hard day underground, the garden or allotment offered pitmen fresh air, contact with the natural world and produce.
The aim of show growers is to produce a stand of two or three leeks combining size, uniformity and quality.
According to leek historian and grower Bill Rutherford, the first recorded show in the region was in Swarland in Northumberland in 1846, while in Ashington in the 1930s there were around 35 shows.
The science of leek growing has its own body, the National Pot Leek Society, which holds its annual show in the North East.
But many shows have closed, including the big joint Northumberland and County Durham Club and Institute event.
Turning the tide
TWO Northumberland leek growers have launched new shows to try to turn the tide.
The Blyth Comrades Club show on September 13-14 is the third to be organised by David Clough, with a prize of £1,000 for the best stand of leeks.
Of the Northern Club show decision he said: "It has been a bolt from the blue and it is shattering."
Four years ago, Rob Hall launched a new Northumberland Open Show at Netherton Social Club in Bedlington.