Crowds line the streets to cheer on Whitchurch Pub Race teams

Crowds line the streets to cheer on Whitchurch Pub Race teams

The Gazette team

All-girl team in their daisy costumes

Team Kiss Fist, who all dressed up as Elvis

Team Thrill Seekers, who were first place in the best fancy dress award

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

CROWDS lined the streets to cheer on teams dressed in whacky costumes as they raced around eight pubs in the annual Whitchurch Pub Race.

A total of 31 teams, made up of nearly 200 people, took part in the popular event which pulls in the pounds for a good cause and sees the pints being pulled.

Starting from the Prince Regent at 3.30pm last Sunday, the new Mayor of Whitchurch Councillor Mike Kean set off the first team Kiss Fist, who, dressed as Elvises, entertained the crowds with a specially choreographed dance routine.

The rest of the teams followed, downing half-a-pint before walking or running the route with encouragement from spectators.

Residents sat outside in their gardens to enjoy the spectacle as teams made their way along Lynch Hill Park towards the next stop.

Passers-by donated their spare change to collection buckets carried by each team, to raise money for the Whitchurch Festival Association, which organised the event.

A pub stop was set up at the railway station, to represent the former Railway Inn, which was knocked down in 2010. From here, participants made their way to The Bell, followed by the Kings Arms and Whitchurch Silk Mill.

In the town centre, teams were greeted by cheers from hundreds of spectators lining the streets.

Team Thrill Seekers, who won the first place award for their fancy dress, were popular with the crowds – wearing outfits made to look like a theme park ride, complete with fake legs dangling down in front.

Team Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends might not have been in it to win it, but their impressive Thomas on wheels was the centre of attention as the team members pushed it around the entire course.

Their efforts were rewarded when they achieved second place in the fancy dress category.

Other fancy dress outfits included chimney sweeps, a Gazette team in newspaper outfits, a group dressed in animal onesies, Rainbow characters, daisies and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – with Snow White sporting a beard!

From the Silk Mill, participants made their way to Longmeadow Sports and Social Club followed by The White Hart before finishing at The Red House, where outside entertainment was provided in the form of music and a hog roast.

Awards were presented to the winning teams later on in the evening, with trophies given out to the fastest team around the course, the best fancy dress and most money raised, which went to the Beer City Rollers.

Rob Dunlop, who helps organise the event, said it raised more than £4,000.

He added: “The money goes back to the Whitchurch Festival Association to fund future community events such as the fireworks.

“There was a good turn-out and the atmosphere was brilliant. We would like to thank all the venues around the town – they put a lot of effort in.”

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