Traditional Pancake Day races attracted large crowds to Hitchin town centre on Tuesday to boost local charities.

The Comet: Excited crowds line the street for the Hitchin pancake raceExcited crowds line the street for the Hitchin pancake race (Image: Archant)

The 17th annual festival organised by Hitchin Priory Rotary Club to raise funds for Rotary charities and for the Garden House Hospice, was the biggest and the best yet.

Rotary spokesman Mike Mackenzie said: “It’s been our best Pancake Day yet. The sun did us proud, our pancake races were very successful.

“It’s been great to see so many stalls here, from the Stand By Me Charity to the mulled wine stall, to the bouncy castle – and we raised lots of money for charity. A very good day.”

Tuesday’s hotly-contested races in the High Street, which followed on from a Pancake Fayre event in the Market Place on Saturday, attracted a record number of runners, with six separate races held in front of big crowds.

Two chefs from Osinsky’s Bar and Grill raced against each other dressed as the ‘118-118 men’ from the TV ad campaigns, complete with black curly wigs.

Jordan Spencer, 22, said: “It was really enjoyable with a great atmosphere.

“I’m glad I beat my fellow chef Tom Philpott.

“He’s gutted – but it’s all for charity which is great.”