Macmillan brings out the charity walkers along north Norfolk’s Bure Valley Railway

North Norfolk's Bure Valley Railway was 'the' place to be this weekend as TV presenter Becky Jago and north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb's wife mingled with hundreds of other charity walkers - entertained along the way by morris dancers, Woody Bear from Pleasurewood Hills, and an Elvis tribute act.

The event raises about �35,000 annually for Macmillan Cancer Support which is celebrating its centenary year.

And with cancer affecting one in three people, many taking part had personal reasons to thank the charity for its medical, practical, financial or emotional support.

Over 525 walkers chose routes of three, six or nine miles along the miniature railway's footpath between Wroxham and Aylsham, enjoying a free trip aboard one of the attraction's steam engines to get them to their starting point, and refreshments at the end.

Among Saturday's first-time Macmillan walkers were Norwich trio, sisters Jena, and Shula White, 25, with friend Mel Harris, 23 who all tramped nine miles from Wroxham to Aylsham.

'We wanted to support the cause,' said Jena, 23. 'Our uncle and our nanny both died of cancer.' Their walk coincided with the third anniversary of the death of the sisters' grandmother, June White.

Friends Nina Keeley, 40, from Sprowston, and Kristine McLaughlin, 42, from Old Catton, were doing their fourth Macmillan walk together.

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The pair have a friend whose young daughter had cancer but has recently been given the all-clear. They also tackled the nine-mile route. 'We walk, talk and laugh. What could be better - especially when it's for a good cause,' said Ms Keeley.

Waiting to entertain the Saturday arrivals at Aylsham's Bure Valley Railway station were the North Walsham-based Weavers' Morris dancers.

Their chosen charity this year is Macmillan in memory of one of the side, Jane Stacey, who died from cancer last year, aged 60. She received help from Macmillan nurses for the last 18 months of her life, according to her husband Dave, from Potter Heigham, who is also a Weavers' Morris dancer.

Anglia TV presenter Becky chose a three-mile walk from Colitshall to Wroxham with her young sons Hugo and Chester, in memory of her mother, who died from cancer.

Mr Lamb was due to take part but was called away to London at the last minute. His wife Mary, plus a son and his girlfriend, tackled a three-mile route without him.

Helen Chapman, Macmillan's Norfolk fund-raising manager, said the weekend had gone 'fantastically well' with more walkers than last year, tempted out by the sunshine.

She especially wanted to thank the 50 or so volunteers who helped with everything from marshalling duties to serving refreshments and waving off trains.

Ms Chapman added: 'Times are hard and people are struggling but this money is really important to us. There is an increasing incidence of cancer as people live longer, and, thankfully, more people are surviving cancer, so our help is needed more and more.'