A competition to find Southend’s stickiest pub or restaurant highchair is creating a real stir all over the area, and a number of managers have already said that they are ‘pulling out all the stops’ to ensure that the judges are presented with a selection of infant feeding structures that are barely fit for a tiny human to sit inside. With the competition’s sponsor Pritt Stick now announcing that a £100,000 cash prize is being offered to the winning establishment, a number of employees have been warned that cleaning out a highchair will result in severe disciplinary action and possibly dismissal.

Head Judge Michael Adheso spoke to Southend News Network about what exactly the panel of judges will be looking out for. He said: ‘When we arrive at one of the competing pubs or restaurants to carry out our assessment, the first thing that we will check is whether or not they have been stacked in the most inconvenient section of the premises. If we manage to find them within 60 seconds of walking through the door, the business will immediately lose five points. Once we have located the stack of highchairs, we will then try and remove one from the top, and bonus points will be awarded if it has to be shaken violently or if two of us need to prise them apart. If the separation is accompanied by a terrifying ‘slapping’ noise, this will also lead to extra credit.’

He added: ‘Once we have chosen a highchair at random for judging, we will then insert a test infant into the seat, and more points are on offer if the straps are too short for the ends to meet around an average child. After 60 seconds in the seat, we will them remove the test infant and check its clothing , with three points awarded for every stain and an extra point for every substance that is detected as not being remotely related to food or drink. The final stage of judging will then be a cotton swab that is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and every potentially lethal bacteria detected will push businesses one step closer to the grand prize.’