Norwich couple crack festival Street Hunt challenge

When Norfolk and Norwich Festival organisers launched their Street Hunt competition, they thought it would take up to five years for someone to complete - but a Norwich couple have cracked the puzzle in just five days.

Alex Lynch and Chris Simmons have been announced as the winners of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's quirky competition, sponsored by the EDP, which challenged people to work out the names in blanked out pictures of street signs and fit them into a poem.

The couple, who live near Bracondale in Norwich, picked up the book at the midnight launch on May 5 and then went to task to solve the visual crossword puzzle.

They said once they started, it was 'addictive' and before they knew it they had completed the challenge.

The pair have scooped a prize of �2,040.

Miss Lynch, 27, who works for the NHS, said: 'Once we found we were getting a few, we couldn't stop. We've never done anything like this before and never thought we would win.

'We have still been going out doing other festival stuff and weren't doing it constantly, but we did put a lot of effort into it; it wasn't easy. When they said it would take up to five years, we didn't expect to do it in five days.'

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Street Hunt was the idea of art event creator Joshua Sofaer who had written a poem using Norfolk road names. By using photo clues in the specially-created Street Hunt book, available to buy from The Book Hive in Norwich, people could find the road signs needed to reveal the poem.

The money from sales of the book was used for the prize fund and could have reached �10,000 if all the books were sold.

'Some people said we should've waited until the prize fund rose a bit more to get more money but if they were in the same position, I'm sure they would've gone for a guaranteed �2,000 - it's more than enough for us,' said Miss Lynch.

'Even if we didn't get the money, it was a great sense of achievement finishing it.'

The couple, who both grew up in Norfolk and will put the money towards a trip to China later in the year, said they used combination of techniques to solve the clues including tapping into their own knowledge of Norwich and Norfolk, using Street View online and going out and about in the county.

Their answers have been posted on the Street Hunt website.

The book, originally sold for �10, will now be available for free for anyone who still wants to have a go at the challenge.

William Galinsky, festival director, said: 'We are amazed that a winner has come through so quickly but really, it's hats off to the intrepid explorers of Norfolk.

'What's been brilliant is the buzz this project has created with all kinds of individuals, as well as groups from charities taking part.

'What's important is the fun people have had taking part and the way it's got people out into the community, discovering new places they might never have found otherwise and please, we recommend that you carry on doing Street Hunt yourselves just for fun.'

For news and reviews from this weekend's Norfolk and Norwich Festival events, go to EDP2.

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