ALRESFORD could soon be home to a world record holder following this year’s Watercress Festival.

As previously reported, organisers of the festival invited a Guinness World Records adjudicator to witness Glenn Walsh attempt to beat the record for eating watercress.

This came after he ate 80g of the plant in 31 seconds at last year’s World Watercress Eating Championship event.

This year Glenn managed to beat his rival, Sam Batho, to hold onto his position as reigning champion.

Hampshire Chronicle: Glenn Walsh with his trophyGlenn Walsh with his trophy (Image: Alresford Watercress Festival)

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His time of 28.98 seconds beat the previous official record of 37.68s, with Alresford waiting for the Guinness World Record adjudicators to confirm it.

Glenn was particularly delighted because having had an operation on his ankle, he was forced to sit to compete rather than stand and was concerned that it might affect his watercress-eating abilities. Despite this, he walked away with the trophy.

Claire May, festival manager, said: “It’s been another fantastic year attracting huge crowds to Alresford.

“I’m immensely grateful to all our sponsors, old and new, and to the incredible band of volunteers who make it all happen. It’s a genuine community event which really puts the town and watercress on the map.

“Well done too to all our winners, especially Glenn, we’re all crossing our fingers he’ll be confirmed Alresford’s very only Guinness World Record Holder. See you all next year!”

Other winners at the festival were Kate Parker from Horsechestnut Herbals who won Barter’s Best – an award named after one of the founders of the Festival, Charles Barter, which celebrates the most innovative use of watercress in a product.

Kate, a registered herbal medicine practitioner, won with her Watercress Cough Syrup.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Watercress King and QueenThe Watercress King and Queen (Image: Alresford Watercress Festival)

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Meanwhile, this year’s Watercress King and Queen were Arthur Stephenson and Bella Mills from Sun Hill Junior School.

They were crowned by Tom Amery, MD of The Watercress Company with watercress crowns made by local florists, the Wild Bunch, before parading down Broad Street dispensing freshly harvested watercress to the crowds.

The team for Abby’s Heroes, the official charity for the festival, distributed more than 4,000 bags of watercress in return for donations, with the final amount raised still to be announced.