THE Autumn Show proved to be one of the biggest and best yet as records fell and donations flooded in for its first ever food bank.

The Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Showground, now been going for 25 years, was expected to draw in 65,000 people. Grower Joe Atherton won a twelfth world record for the longest turnip ever to be recorded at 4.064m at the CANNA UK National Vegetable Championship.

A crop of celebrities and famous faces attended this year’s show including weather forecaster Carol Kirkwood, chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, garden designer Joe Swift, gardening expert Carol Klein and floral designer Jonathan Moseley.

Though the show is famous for its giant vegetable competitions and RHS Flower Show, this year was marked by a new food bank initiative. Saturday alone saw 56 crates of food donated, a drive organised by showground leaders and the Trussell Trust. It was expected to be one of the biggest donations the trust had ever seen.

Diana Walton, head of shows, said numbers were up on last year with under 16s were offered free entry to create more of a family atmosphere.

Mrs Walton said: “It’s everyone’s favourite show. There’s something for every member of the family, gardeners, shoppers and children.

“I think think there has been a great excitement in the air, a real buzz. The family atmosphere has been great.”

She described the contributions to the foodbank as ‘absolutely overwhelming’. “We have been blown away by the response. It really is resonating with people” she said.

The Malvern Gin Show, new this year, also proved a big hit. Featuring 14 local producers, many having to restock to keep up with the high demand.

“We love new ideas and bringing fresh initiatives to the show” said Mrs Walton.