Photo Gallery: splashing great time at Hilgay raft race

London bus on the river at annual event

It's not every day you see a London bus on the river - but then anything goes with the annual Hilgay Raft Race, near Downham Market.

The bus was just one entry in the annual race on the River Wissey, organised by village butcher Ali Dent, which raised �2,000 for Help for Heroes this year.

The age-old tradition of pelting competitors with bags of flour was readily maintained on Sunday as crowds lined the banks to cheer on the brave souls doing their best to stay afloat. Mr Dent said more than a tonne of flour was used to create the 'bombs.'

'It went really well considering the weather was a bit of a washout. We usually get quite a few people stop and have a look, but the weather must have put a few off,' said Mr Dent.


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Apart from rafts, the event also included cardboard canoes - to see who could stay above water the longest, ring races - where competitors raced inflatable rings and the ever-popular duck race where the plastic variety were let loose for a first-past-the-post contest.

The rafts, with up to six team members, all took part in heats where they were paddled to the bridge and one crew member had to pass through a suspended tyre before they headed to the finish line.

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Some 18 rafts took part in the event and Mr Dent said he was grateful to RAF Marham for providing the barbecue,, Nick Robinson for the cherry-picker which gave commentator Wally Webb, of BBC Radio Norfolk, a bird's-eye view and electrician Graham Carter.

Results of the races:

Fastest - Four planks on a Plank; Fancy Dress - blue spitfire (from the same team that created the bus and the Jeep) Jamie Fitzakerly; Fun race was Dents' Divers (Angus Brown); Juniors - Jolly Rogers; Ringo race - James Stanfield and the winning Cardboard canoe was Outclassed (Dan Lee).

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