Summer events washed out

SUFFOLK'S soggy Saturday put a dampener under a host of weekend events across the county.Nine hours of rain fell on Saturday, following on from Friday's ten-hour deluge, leaving the ground sodden and event organisers cursing the British summer.

SUFFOLK'S soggy Saturday put a dampener under a host of weekend events across the county.

Nine hours of rain fell on Saturday, following on from Friday's ten-hour deluge, leaving the ground sodden and event organisers cursing the British summer.

The biggest casualty was yesterday's Orwell Walk, organised by the Rotary Club of Ipswich East.

It was due to take place yesterday, ironically it would have been held under blue skies, but the charity event was called off on Saturday.

Organiser John Button said large areas of the walk were totally impassable.

He said: “We had a look on Saturday morning but it was clear that the walk could not go ahead. It's not that parts of the walk were muddy - parts of the walk were under a great deal of water!”

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Speaking yesterday, he said: “I know it's perfect walking weather today, but under foot it is simply not possible. We looked at whether we could arrange diversions, but it simply was not possible.

“The ground was already soggy before Friday, and with the rain over the last couple of days we had no choice but to postpone the walk.”

The Orwell Walk has now been re-arranged for September 7 and Mr Button said most of the competitors had said they would be happy to take part in it then.

“We hope we have a few weeks of dry weather before then, it is a very important event - last year it raised £62,000,” he said.

But the weekend downpour did not cause misery for everyone - about 350 people turned out to a family fun day to mark the closure of E.On's Wherstead Park offices.

Nick Sandham from E.On said: “We had expected about 500 employees and former staff and their families, so in the event it wasn't too bad at all - the whole thing was very British, There were marquees and we sheltered under umbrellas. It might have been wet, but it wasn't too cold.”

But Saturday was good weather for the ducks!

The 20th Stowmarket duck race involved 2,000 ducks as well as a special fly past from Wattisham Air Force's yellow Sea King helicopter.

The event, run by the 1st Combs Scout Group, saw three races take place with £200 in prize up for offer.

New Stowmarket mayor Anne Whybrow opened the event, in Combs Ford.

David Hart, Group Scout Leader, said: “It is surprising just how many people ask us how we get the ducks to swim in an orderly fashion down the river. We normally tell them it's all down to the training and the promise of a good feed at the end!”

MORE than June's average rainfall fell in the first week of the month in the Ipswich area, said Star weatherman Ken Blowers.

So far this month 2.04 inches of rain has fallen - in an average June 1.82 inches comes down. That figure includes two thirds of an inch which fell on Friday and nearly half and inch on Saturday.

Mr Blowers said: “It's been an incredibly wet week - and of course the end of May was very wet as well. The ground is now very sodden.”

But he had some good news for the next few days: “We've got the tail of anticyclone which will affect us for a few days - although it isn't going to hang around for too long and it will get cooler at the end of the week,” he said.