PHOTO GALLERY: Organisers delighted as carnival fever comes to Hellesdon

Organisers of this year's Hellesdon Carnival breathed a massive sigh of relief today as the weather held out - despite the threat of heavy rain and thunderstorms - meaning there was no repeat of last year's wash out.

Families headed to the recreation ground on Middlelton's Lane prepared for bad weather - with many of them wearing wellies and coats - but in the end they need not have worried.

A short shower midway through Saturday's carnival did little to dampen people's spirits as hundreds turned out to help celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year in style.

The carnival - now in its 17th year - started with a Jubilee themed procession which started at noon and snaked its way from heather Avenue, along Reepham Road and then Wood View Road to the main arena at the recreation ground.

As ever there was something for everyone at the carnival with attractions in the arena including dancers from local clubs, a dog display team and baton twirlers.

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Science fiction fans were given the chance to have a picture or a chat with members of the Norwich and District Star Wars Club's Heroes and Villains costume group.

But wandering around the playing fields with the likes of Darth Maul were members of the Napoleonic War re-enactment team who were able to impress and educate visitors.

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Organisers say there were about 50 stalls at the event, selling food and bric-a-brac and raising money for local charities.

Patricia Kirby, clerk of Hellesdon Parish Council, said she was 'very pleased' with how the event had gone and added they had been lucky with the weather.

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, was one of those to attend the event. She said: 'It's fantastic to have dry weather for once - normally the Hellesdon Carnival gets rained out so this year I'm in my wellies.

'I think the organisers have done really well this year. It's really well attended and is a great asset for the community.'

Martin Boyce, 36, from Heartsease, who attended the event with his children Megan, eight, and Josh, six, agreed with the MPs comments.

He said: 'It's a great day out. I think this is the seventh or eighth time we've come, it's just a nice family day out for the kids and, as I grew up in this area, a chance to see some friends I knew who I haven't seen for a while.'

Derek Cate, 73, who lives in Meadow Way, Hellesdon, was helping out on the Meadow Way Chapel stall. He said: 'It's very well attended. It's nice to see lots of people, particularly children, here enjoying the games. It's a great event and is very well organised.'

James Newman, 36, from Hellesdon, was at the carnival with his children Georgia, seven, and Alfie, four, as well as his partner Louise, 35. He said: 'It's a great day for the family.'

Mary-Anne Sandgarde, 55, who lives at Drayton, said: 'It's quite a nice day if the weather holds off. It's bigger than it used to be - there's much more going on.'

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