Olympic flavour to Southrepps village fair

Villagers at Southrepps added an Olympic flavour to their fete with flags, a torch and sports.

A mid-afternoon hailstorm cut short the sporting programme, but not before hundreds of people watched a mock opening ceremony with 80 national flags paraded around the arena by locals.

A seven-strong team of cyclists and runners brought in a 'torch' after a 154-mile journey from the 2012 Olympic stadium in London.

The journey began at Stratford on Friday for the torch team of Jon Cooper, Shelley Burton, Dustine Walker, Chris Walker, David Walker, Geoff Spencer and Debbie Briggs, including one in a torrential downpour at Barton Mills for David Walker.

Their torch was handed to Ted Bird at the village playing field who 'lit' a mock Olympic flame on a trailer stage.

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The welcoming party included three local athletes who have represented their country - 1968 winter Olympics biathlete Roger Bean from Walcott, Norma Neave from Sheringham who was part of the champion 1990 England ladies clay shooting team, and seven times capped clay gun John Reynolds from Holt.

There were also good wishes letters read out from mayor of London Boris Johnson and 2012 Olympics chairman Lord Coe.

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The downpour meant finals for the egg throwing and welly wanging events had to be cancelled with The Downes Boys leading the egg event with 34m and 'Tom' the boot putt having cleared the hedge into the bowls club.

But fair chairman John Bryant was pleased with day which was about '750 people of Southrepps saying to 9m in London 'well done for turning a toxin waste ground into a sporting venue'.'

Villagers young and old, led by Roger Codling carrying Greece, carried a rainbow of national flags from Albania to Zimbabwe for the traditional opening ceremony.

Earlier Cromer pier show star ventriloquist Steve Hewlett had launched the fete and its traditional mix of dog and horticultural shows, Punch and Judy, stocks, Morris dancing and tug of war. Music during the day was provided by Norfolk Brass, the Ugly Dog Skiffle group, Rade and Loose Change in the evening.

Money from the event, which has raised more than �11,000 over the years, goes towards local causes which have included the village hall, mother and toddler club and community Christmas trees.

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