Picture gallery: Nearly 2,000 students take part in UEA pimp my barrow event around Norwich

Traffic of a different kind raced around the streets of Norwich today as nearly 2,000 students set off in their specially designed wheelbarrows to have fun and raise money for a good cause.

Now in its fifth year, the Pimp My Barrow event saw more than 1,600 students taking part in the fancy dress event which sees them stopping off at four pubs in the Golden Triangle, The Farmhouse, The Mulberry, The Schoolhouse, and the Black Horse, to help raise cash for the Big C Cancer Appeal.

The packed UEA campus saw dozens of teams in an array of fancy dress costumes, from Parisian mime artists, to ninja wizards, policewomen with moustaches, to cartoon characters such as Postman Pat, Stingray, and the Flinstones.

The day has become so big that this year saw the introduction of staggered start times to get the race underway.

And even the before they first batch set off at around 4pm, organisers said that they had already raised more than �8,000 and were hopeful this would go beyond their �10,000 target by the time the students armed with their collection buckets had returned to campus.

Paul Wheeler, one of the event organisers said that this year had seen a record number of people taking part.

'We have got about 1,600 people taking part - that's more than 200 up from last year, and we have got a record amount of volunteers helping out as well,' he said.

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'There's nothing quite like and every year it has grown and grown,' he added. 'Now we have got other universities who are trying to set it up using our brand and rules. We have launched it in Cambridge.'

The rules state that one person must be in the barrow at all times and there are prizes available for the team which has come up with the best design, as well as one for the team which raises the most money. Teams must also make sure they are not rowdy and do not leave rubbish strewn all over the place.

At the end of the evening there was a race through Eaton Park.

Sam Baker, a first year philosophy, politics, and economics student, who had opted for a Teddy Bears' Picnic theme, said: 'This is our first time. It's a good laugh and it's good to do something for charity and it's nice to be able to help. We are the Teddy Bears' picnic. It was a group decision - we all went to the fancy dress shop and looked around, and decided that going as five bears would be fun.

'Originally we were going to be Bob Marley and the Wheelers, but with all the exams and stuff, we didn't really have enough time to prepare.'

Claire Carter, a third year business management student was joined by her 24-year-old sister, Sam, who lives in Cambridge, and fellow student Kelly Smailes.

Kelly, 21, said it was the first time she had taken part in the event and the three had gone online to buy pink construction hats for their 'bimbo builders' barrow.

'This is our last year and we wanted to make the effort,~' she said. 'Because of our exams we didn't really have much time to get ready.'

James Havers, a former law student at the university, who works in London as a managemetsaid he had decided to come back to the campus to take part.

Dressed as a Roman soldier the group were getting set to push their 'chariot' around the city.

'I was a student here and some of my team are still studying here,' he said. 'It's good fun and it's a great atmosphere and you're also raising money for charity. We try and do something different each year, but it's getting harder and harder as more and more people are doing it.'

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