A flipping wonderful time . . .

It may have been freezing cold with a light rain beginning to fall as Heath and Reach WI’s 30th pancake festival got under way.

But it certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the huge crowd who descended on Thrift Road recreational ground to take part in the traditional Shrove Tuesday race, which was in aid of Myeloma Research UK

More than 150 children from St Leonard’s Lower School and their parents were there – frying pans at the ready – alongside teams from Leighton Buzzard Rotary Club, the WI and Dukes pub.

Dukes landlady Sarah Smith, who’s also on the WI committee, said: “It was very noisy and exciting.

“I even saw one square pancake in amongst the rest.”

The Dukes team won the relay – although one wag commented their pancake appeared to be made of concrete. The individual race was won by Louis Birdsey.

Participants were disqualified if they didn’t toss the contents of their pan twice and there was lots of hilarity and good-natured joshing.

The event started at 11.30am with cakes donated by the WI, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in October.

In 1990, Bob Reeve of Kingswood Farm Kennels and Cattery donated a cup and trophy for the event. The first winners were Heath Church Play Group which a dyslexic engraver has etched as Heath Chucrh Play Group.

Sales of refreshments and raffle tickets raised more than £200 for the charity.

Everyone repaired to the British Legion Hall for hot dogs and sandwiches before the prize giving ceremony.