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Amateur gardener grows world’s biggest potato

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The prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.

The vegetable, Peter’s Kondor variety, was put on show on Friday at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

It is not the first time Mr Glazebrook, 66, from Northampton, has hit the headlines.

The retired chartered surveyor has previously held the world record for the longest carrot, after producing a 17-foot long specimen.

He has also been the double Guinness World Record holder for the heaviest parsnip, at 13lb, and the longest beetroot at 21ft.

Speaking before his latest triumph, he said: ”The secret to success is starting with the right seed.

”It’s learning how to grow them and putting a lot of effort in and picking up tips from other growers and reading what you can about it.”

The potato was weighed at the show’s Giant Vegetable Competition and Mr Glazebrook is now awaiting verification from Guinness World Records.

Court bans sandwiches due to ‘missile’ fears

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High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court have banned sandwiches, crips and bottles of water Photo: PHOTOLIBRARY

Bottles of water and crisps are also prohibited at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court because they pose a “health and safety hazard.”

Vistors to all courts around the country are searched by security staff for knives and weapons as they enter.

But staff at the court in High Wycombe have also been told to seize packed lunches.

Grieving families attending inquests into the deaths of loved ones were even told they could not bring in bottled water.

An official at the court said: “The concern is that people are going to use their food as a missile and fling it down the stairs at people.

“Apparently there have been incidents of lunches being thrown around in the past – so we have had to introduce these rules for everyone regardless of who they are or why they are here.”

One lawyer, who did not want to be named, said: “The new rules are ridiculous – soon they will be seizing our casework in case we want to throw that around as well.

“Not allowing visitors to bring in water is crazy because people are going to be boiling in this stuffy court on a hot day.

“Even primary school pupils are allowed to carry around their own lunches.A blanket ban on food and drink for everyone is political correctness so they cannot be seen to be targeting a minority who are going to abuse the building.”

Lynne Richardson, the court manager, said there had “always been” a no food policy upstairs.

“The policy is no food on the landing that has always been the case. The concern is water could be used as a missile,” she said. We have to take it off everyone – otherwise where do you draw the line?”

Four police and a van to fine veteran riding on the path

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He ended up being pursued through a shopping centre by four police officers, two of them in a van, after they insisted he had ridden on the pavement.

He was issued with a spot fine, which he is refusing to pay and he has now challenged the chief constable to take him to court.

Mr Gresty said yesterday that he was “dumbfounded”.

The widower, who won several war medals during his three years as a private with the York and Lancaster Regiment, was challenged initially by two police community support officers (PCSOs).

They said they had taken a photograph of him cycling across a traffic-free area, a claim Mr Gresty disputes.

“The area near the bank is pedestrianised and I must have been on my bike for about three yards on it,” he said. “I walked and pushed it the rest of the way. But I saw these two police officers and one said she took a photo of me, which I am yet to see.

“I went into the bank and they followed me. The manager called the police and told them he thought these PCSOs were being aggressive.”

Meanwhile, one of the officers called for “back-up” from two PCs who then drove a police van through the precinct in Sale, Greater Manchester, “which I think is far more dangerous than riding a bike across it,” Mr Gresty added. “They were carrying on as if I had been guilty of a serious criminal offence. They were being aggressive, rude and heavy handed all over an issue of whether I was cycling on the pavement.

“They didn’t even get that right either. God knows why four police officers had to be involved. I’m an 84-year-old man not a teenage hoodie.”

Mr Gresty, who signed up aged 18 in 1944 and served in Holland, France, Germany and Palestine, said he had been cycling for 51 years to keep fit.

“I asked them if I would get a caution but they said, ‘No it’s an on-the-spot fine of £30’,” he added.

“Everyone I have told thinks it’s ridiculous. I mean, how dangerous could an 84 year-old man be on a bike?”

Ch Supt Mark Roberts of Greater Manchester Police said they had received many complaints about the “persistent problem” of people cycling through the pedestrian area.

He said Mr Gresty had refused to speak to a PCSO about riding in the area, and was given a fixed penalty after other officers’ attempts to speak to him also failed.

ÞMore than 2,000 police officers had three or more complaints made against them by the public in the past year, figures showed yesterday.

Most were about rudeness, assault or failure of duty. The Police Service of Northern Ireland had the most officers with three or more complaints, at 376, followed by the Metropolitan Police with 273. In Dyfed-Powys, 40 claims were made against one inspector.

Giant hamburger cooked in Serbia

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The attempt was part of a citywide annual meat festival known locally as Rostiljijada, or Barbecue Week.

Leskovac, known for its rich culinary tradition, and situated some 155 miles south of the capital Belgrade, closes its streets to traffic for one week to make way for temporary grills stands and restaurants.

Locals and tourists alike could be seen enjoying the food and beer, some singing folk songs and playing flutes and drums.

One of the biggest highlights of the festival on Thursday was the creation by two local chefs of a big hamburger.

The chefs used 112 pounds of minced meat to make the burger, which measured 5 foot 3 inches in diameter and was 1 inch thick.

A special hamburger bun weighing around 64 pounds was custom-made for the event by a local bakery.

However Australian media reported in June this year that a Sydney restaurant owner made a meat pattie that was allegedly the biggest burger weighing 210 pounds.