UPDATE: PICTURE GALLERY ‘Extraordinary’ carnival day in Sheringham

The sun shone on Sheringham today to guarantee that carnival day was one of the hottest tickets in Norfolk.

Hundreds of volunteers put everything into organising the town's biggest day of the year, and kept their fingers crossed that the weather would be kind.

Their silent prayers were answered as the sun beat down, helped by a gentle coastal breeze to take the edge off some of the steamier temperatures that made for sultry scenes inland.

It was a day for locals and visitors to show their skills, as a talent show ran alongside the annual battle of the bands outside the Two Lifeboats Inn. There was also a children's fancy dress competition, organised by Sheringham Women's Institute, on Lifeboat Plain.

And residents of a nervous disposition had to beware as pirates invaded the beach during dancing and games laid on for children.

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Carnival chairman Stuart McClean, who dashed from event to event, said the day had gone 'remarkably'.

He said: 'There were a few glitches, but considering what a small team we have we are really pleased. The weather has put everybody in a fantastic mood and people have forgiven us any problems.'

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The main shopping streets were closed to traffic for the day, creating pedestrianised areas that the shopkeepers filled with stalls of their local produce.

Carnival president Tony Nelson said: 'We've had so many people in the town and there has been a lot of activity. The shopkeepers have really come up trumps.

'Many have dressed up in all sorts of different costumes.'

Martyn Jackson, who has two shops in the town, said: 'It's been absolutely fantastic from a trader's point of view. They should close the road more often. We always do well when they do.'

Mr Nelson said: 'We've been blessed with absolutely brilliant weather. There were also hundreds of people on the beach where there were activities taking place.

'It has all gone really well so far. The streets were full from the station car park, where there was a funfair, to the seafront and all around the block.'

The organisers are now looking forward to today's activities, including a beach clean near the lifeboat house at 10am, carnival crafts and activities at the library at 10am, and beach sports on the lifeguarded beach from 1.30pm.

Mr McClean said his biggest worry was that the beck on Beeston Common would dry up before the duck race on Friday, with 600 rubber ducks ready to compete.

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