Soham landlady Alison Seymour has sparked a national contest to see which British pub or club can grow the longest runner bean.

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Alison and her partner, Matt Killick, run the Carpenters Arms and helped inspire the idea for the competition after contacting seed supplier DT Brown and telling them about a contest that was taking place among her regulars.

She said: “Several of our locals are keen vegetable growers and for a bit of fun they have challenged each other to see who can grow the longest runner bean this summer.”

Alison’s patrons will be using the red-flowered Enorma variety, a favourite with exhibitors and the holder of an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

It is capable of producing long, straight pods up to 20inches or longer.

Inspired by the Soham contest, DT Brown is offering a free packet of 70 seeds of Enorma to the first 100 pubs or social clubs which contact the company with a view to running a similar competition.

Tim Jeffries, from DT Brown, said: “All we ask is that each pub sends us photographic proof of the longest bean grown by one of its customers by September 1. We will award £100 worth of our vouchers to the person who grows the longest Enorma bean in the country.”

To request a free packet of Runner Bean Enorma, write to D. T. Brown, Western Avenue, Matrix Park, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 7NB, telephone 0845 3710532, fax 0845 3710534 or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk giving the name and address of the pub or club and a contact name.

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