Stokesby residents set fire to reedman to mark summer solstice
14:57 05 July 2013
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.
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.”
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.