For the first time in four years, Stalham Farmers’ Club has won Norfolk’s inter-club malting barley competition against their local rivals from Holt.

Club champion George Gay, of Mautby Farms in Thrigby, near Great Yarmouth, was awarded the supreme championship for his winning sample of Laureate spring barley, grown in 2019.

He beat defending champion William Mack, of Hempstead Hall, who had won Holt and District Farmers’ Club’s malting barley trophy again this year with another spring variety, Propino. Mr Mack took the inter-club trophy from Stalham in 2017 and has since retained it with a succession of impressive barley crops.

The inter-club prize was awarded by Bob King, of the Crisp Malting Group in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham.

The trophies should have been presented at Stalham Farmers’ Club’s annual dinner in March, which has since been cancelled.

There was also a success after 13 years for club president Thomas Love and his son William, of Walcott Farms, in the Potato Cup. Their crop of Rooster variety pushed two-time winner Tim Papworth, of LF Papworth in Felmingham, into third place. The judge, Denis Walsh, awarded second prize to Robin Baines with a crop of Innovator.

In the highly-contested competition for sugar beet growers, there was a first-time winner in the Cantley Cup. Bernie Ellis, of R Ellis and Son at Eastfield Farm in Hickling, achieved the best overall result in the 2019/20 campaign ahead of another former club chairman, Kevin Starkings, of Belaugh Green Farm, Coltishall.

In the “whole beet crop” category, John Tallowin of Hickling took the trophy from Alan Beck, of Brunstead, who finished third while LF Papworth was second. Ken Matthews was the judge.

The best two-acre contest was a close result with Will Sands, of HBS Farms, finishing ahead of Richard Hirst, of Ormesby, while Thomas Love’s Walcott Farms was third. Sarah Bebb, of British Sugar, judged.


Inter-club malting barley: Champion, Mautby Farms (Stalham); reserve, William Mack (Holt).

Potato: 1, Walcott Farms; 2, Robin Baines; 3, LF Papworth.

Sugar beet, Cantley Cup: 1, R Ellis & Son; 2, Kevin Starkings; 3, Andrew Withers.

Sugar beet, whole crop: 1, G A Tallowin; 2, LF Papworth; 3, CN Beck & Sons.

Sugar beet, two-acre: 1, HBS Farms; 2, Hirst Farms; 3, Walcott Farms.

Wheat: 1, HBS Farms (Spotlight); 2, Mautby Farms (Graham); 3, Milligen McLeod (Siskin).

Barley: 1, Mautby Farms (Laureate); 2, Milligen McLeod (Maris Otter); 3, AJ Key (Laureate).