Hunstanton Kite Festival and Classic Car Rally celebrates 20th year

Hunstanton Kite Festival and Classic Car Rally. Picture: Ian Burt

Hunstanton Kite Festival and Classic Car Rally. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Two decades ago Bryan Cantle founded a new festival to see how many others shared his simple passion for flying kites. Since then that event has gone on to raise a quarter of a million pounds for various charities and become established as one of the most popular annual fixtures in the west Norfolk calendar.

The 20th Hunstanton Kite Festival and Classic Car Rally was held at Smithdon High School on Sunday.

Mr Cantle, 65, who lives in Cambridge, continues to organise the festival with Hunstanton and District Rotary Club.

He said: 'I'm just amazed that it's still going and how popular it has become.

'I used to fly my kite on Hunstanton beach and originally wanted to hold the festival there but the school grounds have been a great place for it.'

The festival was popular from the start, with some 2,000 people attending.

It is estimated that more than 5,000 people attended on Sunday.

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As well as spectacular kite displays and vintage vehicles, there was a craft fair, a falconry display and an RAF Spitfire flyover.

Mr Cantle said: 'What has amazed me is how many groups, from all over the country, have been in touch asking to get involved.

'Where some kite festivals have stopped going, this one has grown bigger and bigger.

'It has kept improving with new things being added to it every year to attract a wider audience. We've had the Red Arrows here in the past.'

So what is it about kite flying that incites such passion?

Mr Cantle said: 'For me, I've always enjoyed anything in the air.

'I have a pilot's licence and used to fly myself. There is something about looking into the sky that I really love.'

The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House was the official charity of this year's festival and money raised will also go to various other good causes.

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