Crowds flock to West Acre bonfire

West Acre Bonfire'Twins Toby and Holly Deasley came as twin devils
West Acre Bonfire'Twins Toby and Holly Deasley came as twin devils
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Angel of the North sculptor, Sir Antony Gormley, joined around 400 other residents to celebrate Halloween at West Acre on Saturday.

By tradition West Acre have a Halloween and Bonfire night to avoid clashing with nearby East Walton who hold a Guy Fawkes bonfire.

West Acre Bonfire'Junior fancy-dress entrants were so numerous there was hardly room for them on stage

West Acre Bonfire'Junior fancy-dress entrants were so numerous there was hardly room for them on stage

It turned into an almost perfect evening after strong winds during the day threatened to uproot anything not firmly staked to the ground.

Ghostly ghouls, witches, vampires, skeletons, zombies and numerous devils enjoyed the typical October evening as they scampered around in the shadows created by an enormous bonfire.

The bonfire had taken weeks to build with residents scouring gardens, the local churchyard and the surrounding countryside for every bit of combustible material they could find.

This year the event opened half an hour earlier in an effort to reduce queuing for the barbeque and the bar which featured mulled wine and locally brewed beer. It eased the congestion but did not completely solve the problem.

West Acre Bonfire'The bonfire burns brightly

West Acre Bonfire'The bonfire burns brightly

The event was voted the biggest and best so far with a doughnut and waffle stall last year proving so popular that it returned again this year whilst a large pumpkin grown in a local garden ended up on a stall selling warming pumpkin soup.

There were fairground rides for youngsters and fancy dress contests for juniors and adults with the junior entry so large that entrants had trouble squeezing onto the stage.

“The entry gets bigger every year,” said organiser, Kelly Smith.

The evening ended with a bang as fireworks lit up the sky, the organisers having sent more money than previously on their sparkling finale.

West Acre Bonfire'Fireworks dazzle in the night sky

West Acre Bonfire'Fireworks dazzle in the night sky

“I’d like to thank all our volunteers who helped make the evening a success,” said Mrs Smith.

“They are fantastic and without them we couldn’t hold the event.”