REIGNING champion Paul Clark has retained his title as the North-East’s king of sausages.

Mr Clark, of GH Pickings butchers, in East Boldon, South Tyneside, was named supreme champion for the second year running in the Northern Council of Butchers’ annual sausage and ham competition.

It is his fourth victory in the past five years – and his 15th success in 25 years of the competition.

The competition was staged at Blackwells Butchers, in Norton, near Stockton, and organised by council committee member David Robinson with the help of treasurer Bryan Campbell.

Judges were Don Wallace, director of trade suppliers Dalesman, and Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo.

They were tasked with sampling 14 sausages in the pork section, ten in the beef section and 22 in the speciality section, as well as six hams.

Mr Clark, 44, won both the pork and beef sections, earning a £50 first prize donated by Dalesman.

John Allinson, of Ferryhill, County Durham, won the speciality section with his pork, stilton and asparagus sausage, and the best ham title went to Bryan Cockburn, of Bedale, North Yorkshire.

Mr Clark said: “The secret is to get the right recipe, stick with it, and take a bit more care with the presentation so that the sausages catch the judges’ eye.”

Full story from the Northern Echo

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