Blue Peter legend Valerie Singleton judges Vale pumpkin competition

BLUE Peter legend Valerie Singleton was back in the Vale to judge a village pumpkin competition.

Valerie returned to her former home village of Corton Denham at the weekend for judging duties at the Village Hall.

A total of 10 children from the village entered the Pumpkin Lantern competition, which could be made from supermarket pumpkins.

The standard was high with very imaginative designs and skilful carving with cats much in evidence plus the occasional bat, Valerie found, giving the distinguished judge a tricky task.

She deferred her final decision until the curtains had been drawn and the lights turned off so that she could see the lanterns glowing in the dark.

When the results were announced, first prize went to Lois Duffy, second to Honor Lee and third to Fionn de Trey White.

The standard was so high that Valerie awarded each of the other competitors a Highly Commended Certificate.

The children's lanterns entered into the competition

The children’s lanterns entered into the competition

The pumpkins entered in the competition to see who could grow the largest had all been grown in the village, from the same packet of “Big Max” seeds.

The winning pumpkin, nurtured and fed by Briony Sparrow, was a whopper that weighed in at just over 42 kilos.

A spokesperson said: “The event was very well attended.

“In addition to watching the judging and admiring the pumpkins, those present were able to sample two different recipes for pumpkin soup as well as a traditional Canadian pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.