A dozen of Exmouth’s bravest - including the town crier - braved a baptism of fire for a good cause by scoffing some of the hottest chillies ever grown.

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The Great Chilli Challenge, at The Bicton Inn, took place last Friday and was the idea of owner Alison Brockbank.

The evening was to raise funds for The British Lung Foundation in memory of mother-of-three Sarah Wright.

All the chillies were grown at Hamilton Lane Allotments, by local man ‘Moley’.

Over nine separate rounds, competitors had to eat whole chillies of increasing heat.

They started with relatively tame toro rosso peppers before graduating to guajillo, cherry bomb, jalapeno, Tokyo hot, anaheim, twilight, joes longs and finally bhut jolkia chillies.

All chillies are rated on the Scoville scale and measured from 1,000 on the mildest to the strongest at 1,000,000 plus.

Of the twelve brave challengers who stepped up to the plate, at the end, five were left standing.

One of the finalists was Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein, and he said: “Tears were rolling down my cheeks during the challenge and at the final round the hottest chilli bhut jolkia just blew me away.

“I was so pleased that I managed to complete the challenge and helped raised money for such a worthy cause.”

Steve Gazzard, father of Sarah Wright who died of a chronic lung condition, said: “I managed the first three chillies but then had to opt out.

“I was extremely impressed by all 12 challengers.

“Many thanks to Alison for another fantastic original fundraising evening at The Bicton Inn.”

“An amazing £60.20 was raised for research.”

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