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Hundreds turn out for the Hook annual pram race
Buy this photo » Hundreds turn out for the Hook annual pram race
IT was a race with a difference as fancy-looking prams were pushed around a village green.
The annual pram race attracted hundreds of spectators from Hartley Wintney and beyond as they gathered on the cricket green to watch the various contests.
The race, which is an old village tradition, was revived last year following a 20-year break.
This year it was raising money for The Matthew Elvidge Trust, formed in 2010 by Matthew’s family, shortly after the 23-year-old committed suicide.
Matthew suffered from anxiety and depression for a short period, and the trust aims to raise awareness of depression and to encourage young people who are suffering to seek help.
Those entering the pram race had to decorate a pram and race it in a figure-of-eight around the green and Causeway Pond, with various obstacles to negotiate along the way.
Prams were based on a pram-sized chassis and had to be self-propelled without pedal power, with one person sat in the pram during the race.
First up were the junior racers, aged between seven and 11, who completed just one lap of the course. Racing across the finish line in first place was Team James Bond, made up of 10-year-olds Sam Shefford, Ted Gardner and Angus Brown.
Sam said: “We made our pram ourselves with some help from our parents. It took about four hours. The hills were hard but it was really enjoyable.”
Other races held throughout the afternoon were for ‘amateurs’, for those aged 12 and over – who did two laps of the course – and ‘professionals’ who raced four laps.
Prizes were given out by Hamish Elvidge, Matthew’s father, with awards also presented to the team with the best fancy dress and those who collected the most money.
Gary Cook, who helped to organise the event with St John’s Church, said: “Matthew Elvidge committed suicide and no one realised he had depression. It’s very topical at the moment.
“There is lots of information and support, and particularly in our area, we have kids and adults who need to be aware that depression is a disease rather than an embarrassment.”