An Orpington boy is attempting to outgrow his great-great-grandad's 24-inch cucumber which claimed plaudits around 40 years ago.

Nine-year-old Tom, from Chesfield, set out to best his relative's show stopping effort, which made the page of the News Shopper, having heard tales from his Grandmother.

The vegetable, planted in mid-March, is baring down on his greengrocer great-great-grandad's prizewinner, measuring an impressive 21.5 inches.

Tom's grandmother, Tanya Rose, 56, said: "I’d told him about his great-greatr-granddad and this year, just before lockdown, we decided to give it a go.

"He got planting using Marks and Spencers seeds that come for free.

"It’s been really exciting for him, he loves it. He started measuring it in June, and keeps track of the length regularly.

"If we get to 25-inches we want to take it off the plant and show it off at school.

"I don’t think its good for eating, you’re meant to pick them earlier; we haven’t bought a cucumber for months thanks to the rest the plant produces."

News Shopper:

Tom's great-great-grandad, also named Tom, who died aged 73, was a keen gardener who applied the tricks of his trade to his hobby.

His two-foot triumph grew in his garden greenhouse in Biddenden, Kent. Unfortunately the exact date is missing from the News Shopper clipping kept by the family.

The headline read: "Tom's keeping cooler than his cucumber."

"It was a freak occurrence; then he just wanted to see how big it would get," Tanya, who lives with Toms brother Jimmy, 2, and mum Lily, added.

"I’m not sure exactly what his secret was.

"He used a tube to get to water the bottom of the roots, so maybe that."