A KEEN gardener has successfully grown a pumpkin weighing about 250lbs and meant he bagged first place in the Frinton War Memorial pumpkin competition.

Chris Cook, 66, planted the good quality seeds for his pumpkin back in May and did not expect it to grow to its 120cm diameter.

He said: “It was just luck with the weather and some good seeds to start with.

“I have an allotment, but this is just a bit of a laugh with the memorial club.”

Mr Cook has been member of the war memorial club for four years says it took a bit of arm twisting and a few pints of bitter to persuade a pal to let him use a trailer to transport the pumpkin from his home in Kirby Cross to the competition in Fourth Avenue, Frinton.

Other entries in the competition included Bob Pemberton, who previously won the longest runner bean competition in the summer.

Chris said: “I will think about entering next year as the club are still deciding what they’re doing - it’s just a bit of fun.

“It was the biggest by a long shot and it was a lot of trouble to get it there in the first place - I gave the pumpkin to the memorial club in the end - it was great to see the back of it!”

Although Chris’s produce is impressive, Hampshire brothers Stuart and Ian Paton are the proud owners of the world record breaking pumpkin which weighs 2,269lbs.