Water company manager David Pattinson has scored a hat-trick of successes at a village leek show.

For the third consecutive year he took first prize at the Westgate Village Show, in Weardale, at the weekend, with an entry measuring 135.54 cubic inches.

His wife, Gillian, who is also a keen gardener, came third in the show.

"The hot, dry summer may have been good news for tourists, but it's been one of the worst for gardeners here in the dale," said Mr Pattinson, who is team leader at Northumbrian Water's Burnhope complex, in Weardale.

"We managed 17 stands of leeks this year - the same as last year. But the number of entries in the vegetable classes is well down."

Mrs Pattinson, who helps to tend the family allotment at Daddry Shield, showed leeks measuring 123.68 cu in.

In second place was Cowshill haulage contractor Tony Tallentire, with an exhibit measuring 127.35 cu in.

Other results were: Best vegetables, Brian Robinson, Stanhope; best flowers, Frank Walton, Westgate; most points in produce classes, Pearl Featherstone, St John's Chapel.

* Frosterley Village Hall Leek Club will be holding its annual show next weekend.