A secret family recipe and a little magic has won a Devon butcher a top regional award.

And once the news that Anton Bolton, from Colyton, had won the Best Sausage in the West title, banger-lovers were beating on his door.

He won the title at the British Pig Executive’s prestige Product Evaluation Day, held at the Langstone Cliff Hotel, in Dawlish Warren.

Meat produce was put under the microscope with seasoned tasters trying the best on offer.

And for the second time in 10 years, Anton, 42, was crowned the South West’s overall sausage champion.

He goes forward to Smithfields in London to be one of seven UK finalists and hoped to be crowned best sausage- maker in the country for 2007.

Anton, who last year took the best dry cured bacon title, was delighted that his hand-made sausages had been recognised for their excellence.

He said: “This is the title that really counts and not only were they the best pork sausages, they also took the supreme sausage title, beating off the lamb sausage winner from Axminster and the speciality sausage winner from Gloucester.

“It is a great coup and once we put a board up outside the shop, the customers just poured in to buy them.”

Anton, who has been a butcher since leaving school and previously ran a butcher’s in nearby Colyford, said: “It is a special and secret recipe that has been handed down over the years.

“We use only local pork and specially approved ingredients such as cereal and spices.

“They are very traditional sausages with nothing else in them, no apples, chilli or anything fancy like that, just good, honest sausages.

“We make them all by hand and people appreciate the fact that there is always someone in the shop to talk to them about the food, unlike a supermarket where you can never find anyone to talk to.

“People appreciate that and appreciate the care and pride that goes into sausages like ours.”