Messing about on the river at Hilgay Raft Race

Hilgay Raft Race. Picture: Ian Burt

Hilgay Raft Race. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Children's author Kenneth Grahame perfectly captures the joys of messing about on the river, through the characters Mole and Ratty, in his much-loved The Wind in the Willows.

It is a passion clearly shared by the hundreds of people who attended the raucous annual Hilgay raft race, near Downham Market,on Sunday.

The event was due to be held in July but was postponed because the field for the stalls is completely waterlogged.

Crowds packed the bank of the River Wissey, at Hilgay, to see competitors in colourful homemade rafts of all shapes and sizes do battle.

The Hilgay raft race has been held for some 30 years and, this year, was raising money for Norfolk-based children's bereavement charity Nelson's Journey and Sue Ryder.

The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Downham Market and Ali Dent from Dent's Butchers in Hilgay.

Howard Phillips, from the Rotary Club of Downham Market, said: 'So many people from around here and further afield look forward to this event, and it's always such a fun day and raises money for good causes.'

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