GALLERY: How they celebrated the Jubilee in Upwell and Outwell with a raft race

VILLAGERS in Upwell and Outwell took to the water to begin their Jubilee celebrations with a splash on Saturday.

A three-piece suite is not what residents would expect to see on the Well Creek waterway, but one was being put to good use by a team of rafters in a race organised to mark the special weekend.

Their raft, complete with standard lamp, had to be lifted into the water by crane and one of the team members was paddling with a shovel.

Oil drums, water butts, rope, pallets and a lot of hope were put into the seven rafts that took to the water watched by hundreds of villagers who lined the banks to support - and throw water bombs and flour.

The course was three-quarters of a mile with half-an-hour difference between the first and last teams home.

A team of youngsters using a ‘punting’-style made it in joint first with a team of ‘sharks’ and both teams took 30 minutes to complete the course. The floating living room brought up the rear and landed an hour after they set off.

They were all met with cheers and a Fenland Feast on the Basin where a the smell of barbecue kept them going as they paddled through the creek.

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One team lost their raft altogether and ended-up swimming home, but it was all part of the fun of the event.

“It’s great to see so many people out and supporting the race,” said one of the organisers Dave Barnard, of the Well Creek Trust.

“We used to have raft races here, but haven’t had one for years,” he added.