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Thousands flock to Bromyard for hop festival
THE second Bromyard Hop Festival has been declared a “sparkling success” by organisers.
Crowds turned out, with many visitors coming long distances to join in the fun. An estimated 3,000 spectators lined the streets for the climax of the day, the Hop Pocket Race.
Twenty teams of runners carrying a full hop pocket set off from Market Square and ran the length of the town and back.
Winners were the team Awesome, made up of two pairs of brothers; Ashley and Andrew Davis, and William and Lewis Jacobsen.
“It was a last-minute decision to enter, but I’m glad we did,” said Andrew Davis.
“We had no special training, but we’re all pretty fit, so we just went for it.”
Awesome ran the course in 2min 41secs, narrowly beating a team of Halo Leisure fitness instructors.
The female winners were Luscious Ladies, comrpising Philippa Jones, Sally Bullock, Carla Chamberlain and Steph Bagley, who finished in 4min 11secs.
“The women’s hop pocket weighs 50kg (110lbs) as against the men’s at 70kg (154lbs), so we’re very pleased with that time,” said Ms Bagley. “And we’re very proud to have taken over the title of ladies’ world champions. Proud – but exhausted!”
Festival chairman Ian Raven said: “'We are very lucky to have chosen a which turned out to be so sunny and warm.
“All aspects were more than well-supported, especially the parade of vintage and horse-drawn vehicles and the community play.”
Other events included folk and rock music, archive film, an arts-and-crafts fair, horse-drawn vehicle rides and a display of rural crafts.
“It’s only through the efforts of a devoted team of volunteers, plus the support and encouragement of local traders and sponsors, that the hop festival can benefit Bromyard as it does,” said Mr Raven.