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Stokesby residents set fire to reedman to mark summer solstice

PUBLISHED: 14:57 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:04 05 July 2013

The reed man by the River Bure before it was set alight.

The reed man by the River Bure before it was set alight.

Archant

Lighting up the sky after dusk, it was a sight that intrigued boating holidaymakers who were moored up at Stokesby on the longest day of the year.

The reed man by the River Bure before it was set alight. The reed man by the River Bure before it was set alight.

To celebrate the summer solstice, residents in the Broadland village near Acle built a giant figure out of reed and watched it flare up on top of a bonfire.

The boaters then joined locals for an impromptu party on the bank of the River Bure.

The idea of making a 15ft reedman came to artist Russell Canham, 44, during a discussion in the local pub, the Ferry Inn, about how the summer solstice could be marked.

The father of three, who has an art studio on The Green in Stokesby, said: “People in the village always like to have a party and it was thought the solstice would be a good excuse for having one.”

The reed man set alight. The reed man set alight.

As residents joked about Pagan rituals, the idea for reedman began to take shape.

Mr Canham and his daughter Dulcie, 12, made it the day before, sticking reed on to a frame of bamboo.

He said: “The reed had been cut and spread out again as it was not good quality. We gathered it all within a few hundred yards of the village.”

Mr Canham said the barbecue had been such a success that he was sure they would repeat it next year and he would be happy to build another reedman.

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