BANGERS of the firework variety were not the only ones filling the Birmingham air with smoke.

During a tasting session at Hotel du Vin & Bistro in Church Street, popular cricket umpire Dickie Bird MBE judged five finalists handpicked from hundreds of entries in the West Midlands heat of the Britain’s Landmark Bangers competition.

The Barnsley-born adjudicator chose the Victorian-style swag produced by Chrys Titshall, from Teme Vale Victuallers in Worcestershire, as the finest sausage in the region.

Mr Titshall, who has been a butcher for more than 34 years, said: “It’s great news. Joking aside it’s very good for business.

“Anything that recognises you as being at the top of your trade is always useful.

“The humble banger is back and it may well be its time as more people look for cheap comfort food and value for money.”

The competition, organised by the British Sausage Appreciation Society to coincide with British Sausage Week, was open to all independent butchers, sausage enthusiasts and home cooks across Britain.

Mr Bird will also visit London, Southampton, Bristol, Norwich, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle to find the country’s other regional winners.

He said: “I’m so chuffed to be involved in British Sausage Week.”

As regional champion Mr Titshall was presented an award, a £150 cheque to donate to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust as well as pride of place on the first official British Sausage Week Map.

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