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Hainault couple grow 11 stone pumpkin

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 October 2013

Eve Ashton with her pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at her home in Hainault.

Eve Ashton with her pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at her home in Hainault.

Archant

It’s the weight of the average British woman, you can find it at a vicarage in Hainault and it’s big enough for a grown woman to sit on.

Ken and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big.Ken and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big.

Move over James and the Giant Peach. This is Eve and the giant pumpkin.

Estimated to weigh around 11 stone, it is the first pumpkin Eve Ashton and her husband, Rev Ken Ashton, have ever grown at St Paul’s Church in Arrowsmith Road and it’s garnered quite a following in the local community.

The couple plan for it to be the centrepiece at their annual harvest on Sunday, October 13.

“People are fascinated by how big it is,” said Eve, 50.

Ken and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big.Ken and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big.

“You could comfortably sit a small child on top of it the pumpkin is so big. It wouldn’t break.

“We’ve had some pretty keen gardeners coming around to have a look at it and they can’t believe the size.”

Ken and Eve have lived in the vicarage for around two years and this is the first time they have planted vegetables, having spent last summer tidying up the garden.

Eve admits it has taken them longer than they expected to get the garden under control but says the fruits of their labour have been worth it.

“We’re blessed with such a big garden we thought it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

“I’m not sure if we can take much credit for the pumpkin though. We just planted the seeds in June and it hasn’t stopped growing!”`

The couple still have a long way to go to break the world’s biggest pumpkin record though - that stands at a whopping 143 stone thanks to Ron Greene, of Rhode Island, America in September 2012.

Ken, also 50, said: “The measurement of 11 stone isn’t exact - that’s the estimate of some very experience gardeners who have stopped by to take a look.

“As it’s our first time, we wouldn’t know if it’s big or not but apparently it is. It’s been a very exciting experience.”

After the harvest festival Eve and Ken will cut up the pumpkin and share it out among the congregation, complete with recipe ideas.

The festival takes place at St Paul’s Church in Hainault at 10.30am on Sunday, October 13.

Have you grown any extraordinarily big fruits or vegetables? Contact newsdesk@ilfordrecorder.co.uk to tell us your stories.


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