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A 15ft reed man burning in Stokesby to mark the summer solstice 2014

A 15ft reed man burning in Stokesby to mark the summer solstice 2014 - Credit: Archant

While thousands gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice, a smaller but no less dramatic get together was held on the banks of the River Bure.


- Credit: Archant

The burning of a 15ft reedman marked the midsummer celestial event in Stokesby on Saturday night, with locals and holidaymakers sharing home-cooked food, drinks and a riverside fire on the longest day of the year.

Residents of the Broadland village, near Acle, have long held parties and events on the bank of the Bure and last year, while chatting about midsummer in the pub, came up with the idea of a reedman 'ritual'.

Now in its second year, locals said the gathering close to the Ferry Inn pub had been 'organically' organised.

Neighbours contributed, some bringing food to be shared alongside a barbecue provided by the East Somerton-based Norfolk Sausage Company, and the reed statue was crafted by local artist Russell Canham.

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'The reed is cut down close to here and we just gathered up what is left on the floor and use that,' said Mr Canham, who has a studio on the Green in Stokesby.

'I usually do abstract landscapes so this is becoming my annual foray into sculpture.

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'It's a good night, it's nice and informal.'

Elsewhere, the solstice was celebrated at a pagan camp near Snettisham over the weekend. The Spirit of Iceni camp featured talks, workshops, arts, crafts, and camping, and raised money for the West Norfolk RSPCA Rescue Centre.

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