Raft race is a festival of floating fun

GALLERY There was plenty of inspiration for raft makers when they took part in the annual raft races at Needham Market.

Richard Smith

THERE was plenty of inspiration for raft makers when they took part in the annual raft races at Needham Market.

The theme for the event was Dr Who and, with nearly 750 episodes broadcast on television, the raft makers found plenty of material spanning older and newer episodes.

Daleks and the Tardis time machine were represented in the designs produced for the seventh annual event.


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Different types of canine creatures and cybermen were also produced as teams battled on the lake at Needham Market for prizes.

Up to 1,000 people turned out to watch yesterday's event.

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Dawn Winder, a member of the organising committee, said: ''It has been very enjoyable but it is harder than it looks when you have a paddle in your hand on a raft on the water.

''The times have been fast this year because the weather has been quite cool. This has become an established event and we are already looking forward to next year, although we do not have a theme yet.''

The prizes were handed out by Sue Hull, the retiring headteacher of Needham Market Middle School. The grand final of the contest for the 10 rafts was won by a team of special constables with an entry entitled Pond Scum.

Employees from Mid Suffolk District Council were rewarded for their efforts when their second raft won an event.

Last year the theme was James Bond and this year a raft entitled Four Non Bonds entered and raised money for Cancer Research. They won the wooden spoon.

Children also enjoyed the fun and took part in a competition to pluck plastic ducks from the lake.

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