Gallery: Barrels of laughs at annual race fun day

MOST would assume brute strength a must for a barrel race.

But for the annual Westleton Barrel Fair, which has taken place for nearly 60 years, the key is less power more precision.

Armed with a six-foot oak stick competitors challenge one another to prod a metal beer barrel down the village green and then back up – ladies only have to race downhill – covering the 50metre course.

One wrong move and the barrel can career out of control, aiming straight for the spectators lining the course.

Famed as the seventh best silly event in Britain, according to The Times and the authors of Wacky Nation, James Bamber and Sally Raynes, the event thrilled crowds in the coastal village yesterday.

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The event, opened by BBC Radio Suffolk DJ Rob Dunger, started with the hotly anticipated team race challenge between the village’s two pubs – The Crown and The White Horse.

And after a closely-fought race The White Horse took the Holmes-Docwra Challenge Trophy.

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Then residents and visitors took to the green for the individual competitions, with Chris Spall and Spencer Oliver triumphing in the men’s races and Sonia Barber and Judie Shore coming top in the women’s classes.

Secretary of the organising committee Arlette Smith said it had been a “wonderful” day, with more visitors than ever.

She said: “It was a really lovely day and the weather was ideal – not too hot.

“Everyone had lots of fun.”

This year’s Barrel Fair maid and squire were local youngsters Ozzy Clarke and Grace Denny.

And there were mini-barrel races for the youngsters and a series of running races, music and morris dancers.

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