Burdens team are champion cabbage throwers

The Burden Boys John Handbury, Tom Goose and Nigel Cannon being presented with their trophy by Holbeach Town and Country Fayre chairman David Allwood, with inventor John Ward. NA
The Burden Boys John Handbury, Tom Goose and Nigel Cannon being presented with their trophy by Holbeach Town and Country Fayre chairman David Allwood, with inventor John Ward. NA

The ‘Burden Boys’ walked away with the title of first-ever World Cabbage Hurling Champions.

The team, from Sutterton-based Burden Agricultural, came out on top in a 16-team contest at Holbeach Town and Country Fayre.

They netted £150 and a trophy for hurling the veg in a 7ft high trebuchet as part of a quirky event to promote Lincolnshire produce.

After-sales support salesman John Handbury, salesman Tom Goose and farmer Nigel Cannon said firing the cabbages was much harder than it looked, but hope to defend their crown next year.

Each trio had to catapult their greens via one of a pair of giant, 7ft, trebuchets designed specially for the occasion by inventor John Ward.

One member loaded the cabbage, a second lined it up and the third was responsible for firing their ammunition.

To amass points, the teams had to try to hit – or land their cabbages in – a series of tyres laid out across the main arena, with each target allocated a different point score. Everyone got two ‘trial’ goes before firing their five cabbages.

The whole event was the idea of Mr Ward, whose back catalogue of creations includes the one-legged milking stool, backpack snow machine and bra warmer.

“I came up with Cabbage Hurling after attending Swaton’s World Egg Throwing Championships, and thought we could do something like that here,” he explained.

“The idea to use cabbages was because most fresh vegetables found in shops and supermarkets have come from Lincolnshire, so it’s all about promoting this side of the farming world that lots of people don’t always consider.”

The radiant red and yellow devices, affectionately nick-named Spotted Hen and Spotted Dick, were made of wrought iron ‘scrap items’ featured slings to hold the veg, and were based on the machines used to bring down castle walls in medieval times.

“The machines I made were loosely based on this trebuchet design, but I have ‘detuned’ them slightly, as with a full weight they would be quite lethal!

“In test firing they had a range of over 70m, so I lessened the balance weights to bring them down to a more respectable 30m maximum,” Mr Ward added.

“It’s been a great weekend. The crowds were amazing to say the least and it’s already been agreed it will be a yearly event.”

The £150 prize money donated by Simon Naylor of Naylors Farms, Moulton Seas End, who also supplied the cabbages, plus the Ashley King Cup courtesy of JH & AJ Kings Farms.