Hellesdon Carnival braves the monsoon

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. The tune piped out by the on-site organ summed up the can-do attitude in the wettest Hellesdon carnival ever.

And with rides at the fairground still keeping youngsters entertained and ice cream sellers still managing a trade, it was a very British case of making the best of things no matter what.

Saturday's event kicked-off with a parade of adults and youngsters into the recreation ground from Heather Avenue School, followed by a Star Wars float with fans' favourite characters on board.

They were met with a resilient effort all around; a large number of the 60 stalls planned had laid out their wares, whether it was books raffles, pea counting competitions or sales of local produce and horticulture.

Meanwhile, as umbrellas inverted in the wind and jackets were wrapped tight, tannoy announcers did their best to keep spirits up while the newly-added organ pumped out classics from yesteryear.

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Molly Randall, 30, was there with her husband and two children Oscar, 7, and Ella, 2. Having moved to the area the week before, she had promised the youngsters a trip down to the carnival.

'I think it's a great idea to have this. It's nice when smaller communities come together and though it's a bit washed out we'll definitely come back.'

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Although events at the main arena were cancelled, the companion dog show remained a flurry of wagging tails and enthusiastic owners hoping to show off their hounds' talents, all in aid of local charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Busy running the show with her husband, Majorie Croly laughed off the rain and said they had thirty entries raring to go in four different pedigree classes.

'We've been here for the past four years and it's been rainy before, but not like this,' she said, 'but then again, we're dog people and dog people do things come rain, hail or snow. No matter what we will be out and about, and we're going to stick with this.'

The day began with a queue to get in and eventually saw hundreds turn out before finishing earlier than planned.

Founder and parish councillor Des Jones-Blackett labelled it the wettest carnival he had seen in the event's 16 years, but he was pleased people were still making the most of things.

'The setting-up this morning went fine, though a few couldn't properly set up because their gazebos collapsed in the wind,' he said.

'That said, we're going to see it through and be back same time next year.'

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