EAST Lancashire’s bangers are the best in the country – and that’s official!

Riley’s butchers, of Crawshawbooth, swept the board at the Smithfield Awards scooping 13 awards for its sizzling sausages and homemade pies.

The awards lunch, dubbed the Oscars of the meat industry, was organised by the Q Guild, which represents Britain’s best butchers.

Rileys, based in Burnley Road, won six gold, five silver and two bronze awards, which were presented by top TV chef Heston Blumenthal at the Butchers Hall in London.

Judges were impressed with their range of sausages, including one devised especially for Christmas – a sweet sausage designed to compliment a turkey They also picked up honours for sausage rolls, beef Wellington, lasagne and chicken Kiev’s.

Boss Geoff Riley said: “We knew the competition was going to be fierce. We were up against the very best in the land, because all the other butchers in the competition were members of the Q Guild and membership is only given to butchers who meet exacting standards.

“To come away with 13 awards out of 13 was wonderful.” Judges said they were highly impressed with Riley’s entries.

A spokesman said: “Standards in the competition have risen year on year and this year the overall standard was exceptional.”

The 150-year-old family butcher’s shop has been “meating” the highest stand-ards for many years.

It was named one of the top three butchers in the north of England in the Butchers’ Shop of the Year awards last year.

As well as celebrating, Geoff was delighted to be given an opportunity to speak to his food hero Heston.

“It was great to get a chance to speak to Heston because I think he is an inspirational and inventive character and a real advocate for quality produce,” he said.

“In our own small way I think we are very inventive at Riley’s. If a customer ever suggests a combination for a sausage I’ll always try to give it a go.”

Riley’s joins a string of other successes in the sausage industry.

Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop in Clitheroe was celebrating last month when it won a BPEX gold award for traditional pork sausage of the year 2010.

And the Fence Gate Inn, won, won first place in the Foodservice Pork Sausage of the Year awards.