GALLERY/VIDEO: Thousands entertained at Chatteris Historic Festival by Hurricane and re-enactments

THOUSANDS of people went back in time at the weekend at the spectacular 2011 Chatteris Historic Festival.

A stunning Second World War Hurricane flypast wowed crowds who flocked to the event on Saturday but the action-packed programme entertained revellers throughout the weekend.

The festival - which held smaller events around the town from last Tuesday to Thursday - really kicked-off on Friday with a schools day.

Youngsters from the town were given a chance to enjoy a taste of what was to come across the festival with historical re-anctments containing canons and sword fighting.

A wave of colour swept through the town on Saturday morning with hundreds of people parading from Church Lane to Furrowfields. Chatteris Rainbows won best in parade for their efforts in dressing up as Flintstone characters.

But the fun didn’t end there as displays from Napoleonic groups and characters from the Viking, Outlaw and Victorian era amazed revellers of all ages.

The event, organised by Fenland District Council in partnership with Chatteris Town Council and community groups, continued in Sunday’s sunshine with a United Churches service and a performance from ‘the complete fool’ Devilstick Peat.

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The multi-talented circus performer dazzled crowds with his medieval entertainment skills which have seen him perform at Glastonbury and in more than 20 countries.

The thrilling festival closed on Sunday afternoon at 5pm after a puppet show, fun dog event and more exciting historical re-enactments.

Mike Chapman, the council’s markets and events manager, said: “The whole festival was brilliant - in fact, it was better than brilliant.

“It’s hard to pick out particular highlights because there was so much for people to enjoy. But one was certainly the flypast by a wartime Hurricane and the 1940s party night was a tremendous success, with about 100 people having a terrific night out.

“We also had the best ever schools activity workshop day. More children took part than ever before and they were so animated, it was great to see. And as always, the dog show was tremendously popular.

“It’s difficult to estimate the numbers who took part in the whole festival but overall a good guess would be about 4,000.

“Everyone in Chatteris can be hugely proud of what they achieved. The whole community came together to lay on a really fantastic event over the whole week. Even the odd bit of wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits.

“I’d like to add a special thanks to the Community Payback lads for their fantastic efforts in volunteering to stay on well beyond their appointed time last week to erect all the site security fencing. And again on Monday they worked in blistering heat to take it all down again.”

Councillor Peter Murphy, Portfolio holder responsible for markets and events, also singled out the schools activity workshop day and the 1940s night for special mention.

He said: “The workshop day was all very much hands-on and we had about 500 children taking part. They really seemed to enjoy themselves and behaved very well. I was very impressed by them.

“Everyone had a great time at the 1940s night and the parade on Saturday was also a great success again. Overall, the whole event went really well, with something for everyone to enjoy.”

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