A GREEN-FINGERED maestro has won a top prize – almost quarter of a century after clinching a similar award.

Alan Manning was a winner at the National Vegetable Society’s National Championships, which took place at Brockenhurst, in the New Forest, at the end of last month.

The 68-year-old won the pot leek class – 24 years after he won the long leeks section.

He said: “In the past, I have shown all sorts of vegetables and have won national championships with parsnips.

“With retiring this year, I really concentrated on the leeks and I have got a few onions but nothing else of exhibition equality.”

Mr Manning, who lives on the Clint Estate, near Stenton, has been growing leeks for a number of years and would regularly donate any left over to the annual Save the Children country market in Haddington.

He said: “I’m from the north-east of England and leeks are predominantly what was grown in the villages.

"Where I grew up, everybody was growing pot leeks and one of the staples diets was leek pudding and broth.”

Mr Manning, who is moving from the area to head back to his native north-east, was on the front page of the Courier when he previously won in 1995.

It read: “Best of the best. . . that is the leeks grown by horticultural maestro Alan Manning.

“Alan from Stenton won the prestigious National Vegetable Society’s first prize for vegetables at the recent Dundee Flower Show.

“The award is the number one accolade for members of the green-fingered fraternity – the Crufts of the veggie world.”