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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbrian Tommy Mattinson wins world gurning title for 14th time

Tommy Mattinson has retained his title as world champion gurner – proving once again that he can pull the planet’s ugliest face.

Tommy Mattinson photo
Tommy Mattinson

Facing stiff competition from potential rivals from as far afield as Australia, the Aspatria builder took the crown for the 14th time at Egremont Crab Fair.

He dedicated his winning gurn to the late Peter Jackman, a fellow world champion gurner, who died 10 years ago.

Tommy said: “It’s great to win again. I never expect to. I just go on stage and do my best.

“Quite a lot of people entered the gurning this year and there was some tough competition.

“I’d said to Peter’s family that if I did win, I’d dedicate it to him.”

Devon Maxwell took the title of junior gurning champion while first-time entrant Helen Irving was crowned women’s champion.

The gurning was once again one of the highlights of Egremont’s colourful Crab Fair, which has a cult worldwide following.

Committee chairman Steve Foster said: “The women’s entries were particularly high. We only had one entry from Egremont and the rest were from all of the world, including two from two different places in Australia as well as London and Southampton.”

Saturday’s evening events featured a host of family-friendly activities in Egremont Market Hall.

Mr Foster said the whole weekend of events went very well, including a night of music on Friday, followed by a variety of entertainment on the main street and the show field on Saturday.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted at the turnout on Friday evening. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the street was full of people up to 11pm and beyond. We billed it as a night of fun for the family and that’s what it was. There were no problems at all.”

And this year there was more to see and do for children with entertainment in the main street including an interactive circus workshop. Visitors also enjoyed the traditional parade of the apple cart.

“Everyone really enjoyed themselves. We have never seen so many people on the street,” he said.

Shows and championships included fur and feather to onions, lurchers, terriers and ferrets to Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, trail hounds and all the equestrian events.

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