Villagers celebrate the Diamond Jubilee at Ringstead, despite the downpours

Villagers shrugged off the rain and enjoyed an al fresco party in the Chalk Pit at Ringstead today.

There were cup cakes and strawberries, teas and a drop or two of the stronger stuff on offer in the marquees and gazebos.

'It's very wet, but there are still around 100 people here,' said Star Brock, one of the organisers, who also campaigned to turn the former quarry on the edge of the village into a nature reserve and picnic area.

'It's nice to see people turning out despite the weather. I think a lot of people knew the effort that's gone into organising this.

'We've been working on the Jubilee event since last year. We were out here until 10.30 last night putting marquees up.'

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Fellow organiser Louise Howell's Jubilee cup cakes were doing a roaring trade, as were the bar and hog roast.

'It's soggy but we're keeping our spirits up,' she said. 'We're carrying on regardless. We were expecting about 100 and we're not far off that.'

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Harpist Vanessa Wood-Davis, from nearby Sedgeford, was the warm-up act, while generators were coaxed into life for Suited and Booted - a rock n' roll combo made up of Danny Eglen and Stu Crown, from Downwham Market.

'We like to help people have a good time,' said Mr Eglen, as he picked up his guitar for a sound-check. 'You can't get anything much more British than a wet weekend.'

It seemed wetter still at nearby Hunstanton, where the Lifestyles extreme sports festival was packing up by lunchtime.

Just a few hardy kite surfers braved the rain and the brisk north-easterly blowing down the Prom.

Organisers of the resort's Diamond Jubilee celebrations were hoping the weather improves for tomorrow's events on The Green, leading up to a beacon lighting (10pm) and firework display on the beach north of the Pier Building (10.30pm).

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