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Paul is the pumpkin king

Hallowe'en is just around the corner, but monster pumpkins have already made an appearance in Boston. Their mission was not to frighten but to fund raise.

The monsters were the stars of the show at Boston's Johnson's Garden Centre for the Boston Giant Pumpkin Challenge.

Allotment gardeners, some working away in secret, had been growing the giants from seed, and the winner was Paul Gilbert, weighing in at 49.8 kilos (nearly 110 pounds).

Paul grew his pumpkin on his Wyberton West Road allotment. The allotment site wins £100 in garden vouchers from Johnson's Garden Centre.

Pumpkins from Boston allotments grown for special meal at Boston College Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

The challenge was thrown down to allotment holders at Willoughby Road, Toot Lane, Witham Way, Cuckoo Land, Spilsby Road and Wyberton West Road and biggest pumpkins from each site were weighed.

A guess the weight of the pumpkin competition and servings of pumpkin soup made by catering students from Boston College raised £150.

All proceeds will be for the Pilgrim Hospital Stroke Unit.

Organisers thanked the garden centre for its support and Boston College where a special pumpkin dinner is to be served with the main course being provided  by Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, who was a student at the College. 

Winning pumpkin Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Pumpkin king Paul Gilbert, right, with Dave Wright secretary of Wyberton West Road Allotments