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Butcher’s Pride competition attempts to find best sausages in Boston, South Holland and Deepings areas… with bangers from Boston, Crowland, Holbeach, Swineshead and Deepings tickling tastebuds





There’s absolutely no argument that Lincolnshire sausages are the best bangers on the planet. But where can you find the county’s finest?

The answer to that extremely difficult question was once again posed at this year’s Butcher’s Pride competition, where meat maestros from around the area were invited to put their pork to the test.

And while – as the event yet again proved – we all have different tastes and no Lincolnshire sausage is a bad sausage, there had to be a winner.

The judges (from left) Duncan Browne, Adrian Walker-Slade, Barrie Pierpoint, Lee Winter, Sir John Hayes and Daniel Elkington are joined by waiters Matthew Smith and Alicia Price, organiser George Bell and Mark Elsey of Moulton Chapel Butchers. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The judges (from left) Duncan Browne, Adrian Walker-Slade, Barrie Pierpoint, Lee Winter, Sir John Hayes and Daniel Elkington are joined by waiters Matthew Smith and Alicia Price, organiser George Bell and Mark Elsey of Moulton Chapel Butchers. Photo: Chris Lowndes

The Boston College-organised event is now in its 13th year, with the 2024 installment hosted by Spalding’s Cley Hall Hotel.

Butchers from Boston, South Holland and the Deepings were invited to enter their finest pork products into two categories – Lincolnshire Sausage and Specialist Sausage.

The panel of judges – MP and event chairman Sir John Hayes, Boston Borough councillor Barrie Pierpoint, Lee Winter, representing Albert Bartlett Potatoes, Boston College governor Daniel Elkington, Boston College’s hospitality and catering lecturer Adrian Walker-Slade and Duncan Browne of LincsOnline – were then each served up one of the 29 sausages one by one.

Holbeach-based Boston College students Matthew Smith and Alicia Price did a fantastic job of serving up the sausages. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Holbeach-based Boston College students Matthew Smith and Alicia Price did a fantastic job of serving up the sausages. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Their task was to take a bite, or more, and rate each out of 40, offering marks out of 10 from the four categories; appearance, texture, flavour and taste.

A secret draw made by event organiser George Bell ensured the order the bangers were brought to the table was random, the 16 Lincolnshire entries first, followed by the 13 specialist flavours.

This year’s overall winners were Bycroft’s of Boston, who successfully defended the title they won last year.

Judges Lee Winter, Sir John Hayes and Daniel Elkington compare their sausages. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Judges Lee Winter, Sir John Hayes and Daniel Elkington compare their sausages. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Their entry into the Lincolnshire Sausage category was awarded the highest marks by the judges as they secured the Gold Award for the Lincolnshire Sausage category and claimed the beautiful winners’ trophy.

But proof – as if needed – that you can get fantastic sausages across the patch was served up by the fact that the entries which pushed Bycroft’s closest came from all over the competition’s catchment area.

Also Highly Commended in the Lincolnshire Sausage category were Dunhams of Boston, Shearers of Holbeach’s gluten free entry and Crowland Butchers, who caught the judges’ tastebuds with their unique flavour.

Top sausage! Bycroft's of Boston retained their title
Top sausage! Bycroft's of Boston retained their title

The judges couldn’t separate two very different entries in the Speciality category, both finishing level on points.

Shearers’ Oriental Foo Kin Hot Choc and Deeping-based Grasmere Farm’ Smoked Rutland both received the Gold Award.

Also Highly Commended were the Moulton Chapel Beef, Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato sausage and the Black Pepper entry from Ivy’s in Swineshead.

Cley Hall Hotel manager Gemma Williams cooked up a treat for the panel. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Cley Hall Hotel manager Gemma Williams cooked up a treat for the panel. Photo: Chris Lowndes

“It’s wonderful to see so many local businesses showcasing so many local skills,” said Sir John, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.

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“This is something Lincolnshire does exceptionally well and we should be proud of it.

“We want to promote what’s good about the area and that’s what we’ve done before and we will continue to do so.”

Organiser George Bell, employer engagement manager at Boston College, said he was particularly impressed by the ‘strength in depth and the growing creativity’ displayed by this year’s entries.

“Where else can you get an Oriental Foo Kin Hot Choc or a Beef, Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato sausage?” he asked.

“You will also find willing engagement with changing consumer trends as witnessed by low fat, gluten free and chicken sausages – not always loved so much by the judges but a vital part of their business offer to customers.

“I was also pleased two of our catering students were involved, helping Gemma Williams and the Cley Hall team who did such a great job in the kitchen and with service to the judges.

“It was a very different event for them to experience but one they embraced with enthusiasm – and it’s given us some ideas to engage with some of those award-winning butchers to make the competition even bigger and even more fun next year.”

Cley Hall hotel manager Gemma Williams was tasked with cooking the bangers to perfection.

“This is the third year we’ve hosted the event and, as a small local business ourselves, it’s wonderful to see so many local businesses being celebrated,” she said.

“Some of the smells coming from the kitchen were divine.”



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