A QUIRKY festival which typically sees butchers' bangers hurled as far as possible will be replaced by a virtual event this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic - with organisers insisting: "Nothing stops a sausage."

The Harwich Sausage Festival will may be lacking its typical spectacle of a banger throwing competition this year, but organisers at Tendring Campaign for Real Ale are determined to make sure the event goes ahead.

Eight butchers will be vying for the title of Tendring's favourite sausage, with the winner going on represent the district in the national Champion of Champions sausage competition.

Organiser Richard Oxborrow said: "We have eight butchers taking part and we are asking sausage lovers to visit them, purchase their standard pork sausages, and then vote on line for their favourite.

"We are allowing plenty of time to do this with voting ending at midnight on Saturday, November7, the day that the 2020 Harwich Sausage Festival would have taken place."

The festival would have seen hundreds of visitors enjoy drinks and sausage samples at Harwich's Alma, Hanover and New Bell pubs, but coronavirus restrictions have put a stop to the planned gathering.

The competing butchers are Becky’s Butchers, Great Bromley, Chas Bower Butchers, Holland-on-Sea, D. Spence Butchers, Great Bentley, Frinton Road Butchers, Holland-on-Sea, Ragmarsh Farm Shop, Manningtree, Ramsey Master Butchers, Ramsey, Shaws Farm Meats, Dovercourt market and Smith’s Butchers, Brightlingsea.

For those who still wish to eat their sausages within historic Harwich, the Alma, New Bell and Café on the Pier will be featuring the competing sausages as part of their menus at various times during the online festival.

Availability and further information will be advertised on Tendring CAMRA’s social media pages.

Colin Cheesman, of Tendring CAMRA, said: "Having to go online is bringing it home to us how special it is to be able to stroll around the wonderful real ale pubs of historic Harwich enjoying quality beer and fantastic sausages but these are difficult times.

"The important thing is that we send out the message from Harwich CAMRA that nothing stops a sausage, and that we come back even stronger next year.”

To vote for your favourite sausage, email your entry to sausages@tendringcamra.org.uk.