A TRADITION spanning three centuries shows no sign of fading as the 218th annual Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show was hailed a great success.

The Gooseberry Show took place in Egton Bridge on the North York Moors, as it has done since the 1800s, and attracted a sizeable crowd and a good number of entries.

As testament to the show’s enduring allure, Tuesday’s event was captured on camera by two film crews and welcomed visitors from Sweden who were inspired to found their very own Gooseberry Show.

Ian Woodcock, secretary of the Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society, explained that the film crews were from the BBC and from China.

The BBC shot footage for a documentary chronicling a year in the life of the North York Moors, while the Chinese crew were filming for a Youtube broadcast called Legend of Fruits.

A dozen members of the Skillinge Gooseberry Society from Sweden were also in attendance after their chairperson, Berit Åkesson, set up a Swedish version - the Skillinge Krusbärsfestival - after seeing saw a glimpse of the Egton show on the BBC 25-years-ago.

Mr Woodcock said: “They are lovely people and it was great having them over.

“I went to their show a few years ago and did the prize-giving, they have one of our trophies over there as the main trophy so it is nice to have that link with them.

“Their show is bigger and has all sorts of classes - they even have a ‘prettiest gooseberry’ prize but don’t ask me how you judge the prettiest gooseberry!”

Mr Woodcock said this year’s Egton show saw some close competition but in the end the clear winner was the eight-time defending champion, Graeme Watson of Ainthorpe.

Mr Watson became a nine-time champion, with six in a row, by winning the Harland Trophy for heaviest berry.

His yellow Woodpecker weighed 32 drams, 21 grains which is 58g or just over two ounces.

Mr Woodcock says that the Egton show’s longevity depends on the society being able to continue to recruit new, younger, members.

It is now just one of a handful of annual gooseberry shows left in the country.

Anybody interested in join the Egton Gooseberry Society can contact 01947 895240.