Roman soldiers march in Mundesley

It is enough to make Boudicca rise from her grave, take up her spear and go back into battle.

For yesterday, a detachment of Roman soldiers returned to the region where the fearless heroine gave them a bloody nose two millennia ago.

The legionaries and a drummer went through marching manoeuvres on Gold Park in Mundesley, without any opposition from the locals.

The invaders were left to their own devices because they were all people from the village, practising for a forthcoming Christmas Eve pageant.

With helmets made of linoleum and silver foil-tipped spears, they made for a bizarre sight as they marched in a snow flurry.

The pageant was originally staged in Mundesley in 1995 and 1996 by local actor Jo Berry.

Last year, following a request from the parish council, Mrs Berry resurrected the pageant, and it was such a success that it is happening again this year.

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She said: 'It gives people something to do on Christmas Eve, when the shops are shut. It puts the Christmas story back, and reminds us why we celebrate. And it wears the children out because it gets them out for a walk. That enables Father Christmas to visit in peace.'

The pageant is a re-staging of the Christmas story, and takes in a number of locations across the village. It begins at Mundesley Free Church at 6.30pm. The church will be providing hot drinks and mince pies from 5.30pm.