Hitchin pancake races: Shrove Tuesday fundraisers smile through drizzle

PUBLISHED: 15:20 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 14 February 2018

The start of the gentlemen's race. Picture: Alan Millard

The start of the gentlemen's race. Picture: Alan Millard

Archant

The drizzle didn’t get anybody’s spirits down at the annual Hitchin pancake races this lunchtime, with thousands raised for good causes.

Gentlemen's race winner Aaron Maxwell. Picture: Alan MillardGentlemen's race winner Aaron Maxwell. Picture: Alan Millard

The pancake-flipping fundraisers whipped around St Mary’s Church in all sorts of colourful costumes, from fluorescent pink T-shirts to a cheerful lion get-up, during the town’s 20th annual pancake festival.

Hugh Maisey, part of the Hitchin Priory Rotary Club organising team, told the Comet this afternoon that they estimated their takings for this Shrove Tuesday as being about £8,500.

Ladies' race A winner Alex Murphy. Picture: Alan MillardLadies' race A winner Alex Murphy. Picture: Alan Millard

He said: “We’re lucky that in Hitchin there’s such an active community, and that when something like this is going on people come out and have a look.

“A lot of people come down to watch the races, and we had a good turnout.”

Ladies' race C Winner Lianna Cavaliere. Picture: Alan MillardLadies' race C Winner Lianna Cavaliere. Picture: Alan Millard

There were seven races from 11.30am onwards – with races for ladies, gentlemen and fancy dress runners, as well as a ‘young at heart’ wheelchair charge.

Prizes were given out afterwards in Market Place, where town centre manager Keith Hoskins was accompanied by incoming Hitchin BID manager Tom Hardy.

Fancy dress A winner Scott Monk. Picture: Alan MillardFancy dress A winner Scott Monk. Picture: Alan Millard

Keith said: “This was our first chance to introduce Tom publicly, although he doesn’t start with us until March 1.

“Thanks to all at Hitchin Priory Rotary Club for their unflagging efforts making this such a fun annual event in the face of such uncertain weather.”

Fancy dress B winner Josh Holby. Picture: Alan MillardFancy dress B winner Josh Holby. Picture: Alan Millard

As well as pancake races, there was music, refreshments and kids’ games including archery and skittles.

The Rotarians are set to bring out pancakes again in a three months when they put on a festival of May Day fun – hopefully, in the sun.

The dark-maned winner of the fancy dress race. Picture: Alan MillardThe dark-maned winner of the fancy dress race. Picture: Alan Millard

Participants in the wheelchair race. Picture: Alan MillardParticipants in the wheelchair race. Picture: Alan Millard

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