Enid, 100, opens up traditional Shipdham Drynkkings fete on the day of her landmark birthday

A popular centenarian opened a May Day fete today which marked a community tradition going back hundreds of years on the day of her 100th birthday.

Enid Lilley, from Shipdham, arrived at the village's Drynkkings event on the green by horse and cart in a procession from All Saints' Church.

Other people in the procession included members of the Kemp's Men Morris dancing group, from Norwich, and other villagers.

The Drynnkings fete was started 12 years ago and always takes place on May Day.

It is named after the brewing of beer in All Saints' Church, which took place during the 15th and 16th century because the water was so unhealthy to drink.


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According to history, a village event was held each year around May to celebrate the beer that had been produced.

To mark Miss Lilley's birthday, she received flowers from Martha Marsh, of Barford, who turned seven that day.

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The audience on the village green also sang Happy Birthday and a poem was read out.

Miss Lilley, a retired teacher and headteacher who moved to Shipdham 31 years ago, said: 'I enjoyed opening the event. I'm glad the Morris men are back and I hope everybody has a good time.'

The Rev Louise Alder, from All Saints' Church, said: 'Enid is an amazing lady. We are fortunate to be able to do this community event and have somebody who has lived her for so long open it. It is bringing history alive.'

A choral Evensong at All Saints' Church, where Miss Lilley is a regular churchgoer, was held last night to celebrate her birthday and was attended by more than 100 friends and family.

As well as the Morris men dancing around the maypole, the Drynkkings fete also included a steam roller from Mattishall and fundraising stalls.

All the money raised from the event will go towards community projects in Shipdham and the surrounding villages and organiser Tracy Jessop said the fete has raised more than �30,000 since it started.

John Rowe, 76, from the Isle of Wight, has been coming to the Drynkkings fair for five years during visits to his family and said it was fantastic.

'It is a good atmosphere,' he added.

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