PUMPKINS of many weights and measures were sent hurtling across the skies of Ellesmere at the weekend.

The novel event was the brainchild of Fizzgigs, Ellesemere's Community Arts Group, as a way of celebrating – and disposing of – the traditional Hallowe'en vegetable.

Claire Cartlidge of Fizzgigs was one of the official field judges while husband Peter manned the trebuchet, the giant wooden catapult used to sling the pumpkins over the Birch Road recreation ground.

Claire said: "Peter built the trebuchet and we have used it before for open air productions and as the dragon in the carnival. It seems to be working all right, except for the last throw, which was a 23-kilo pumpkin and went backwards!

"We had no idea how many would turn up but we've had about 40 so far. And afterwards they are all going to be collected and used as compost.

"And the tabards work quite well as high-vis jackets."

Punkin chucking or 'chunkin' competitions, formal and informal, exist throughout the United States in the autumn and often occur when pumpkins are harvested.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin, held since 1986 in Delaware, was the first and largest annual competition and in 2010 featured over 100 teams. However, in 2016 an injury and an associated lawsuit brought an end to the event.

A European Championship has been held in Bikschote, Belgium since 2004.

The aim of Fizzgigs is to create a range of local arts events which are accessible to the local community and which encourage a sharing of experiences and skills across all age groups.

Fizzgigs aims to provide opportunities for individuals to learn new, develop or share skills and to promote integration and co-operation within the local community by encouraging participation and volunteering at events.