RUNNERS dashed around the houses in Purton yesterday as part of this year’s Helping Hand Carnival.

Festivities, which started this weekend, also saw a mile of coins being placed through the village and revellers enjoying a pig roast on Saturday – despite the bad weather.

The Pride of Purton competition took place on Saturday night, which saw retired care worker Audrey Griffin winning the award after 38 years of service at The Cedars residential home.

Carnival secretary Pauline Ward said: “We did the mile of coins on Saturday morning but it was very windy and wet. We did it for a couple of hours but not as many people came out as they normally do.

“Then because of the weather we had to double up on every space we could in The Angel for the pig roast and barbecue instead of having it outside. We had a group downstairs and upstairs and food downstairs and upstairs. Everybody enjoyed themselves, we overcame the weather.”

The Pride of Purton awards took place on Saturday night as part of the carnival and saw Audrey being chosen as the winner by an independent judge.

“Everybody loves her, she has a way with the elderly people. She is well known and well loved, it was a good choice,” said Pauline.

The Round the Houses Race took place yesterday with more than 20 people tackling the course. They ran from the village hall car park to Witts Lane then to the common and finally up to the High Street and back to the village hall car park.

“We didn’t have as many entries as last year but it was enough to have a race,” said Pauline.

“It was lovely to see the little ones too and some of them took their dogs with them.”

A cycle race also took place yesterday.

Festivities will continue today with a household auction at St Mary’s School Hall from 6pm.

Events will continue during the week and the fete and procession will take place on Saturday.

“All we need is a fine day next Saturday because that is the procession and the fete. We need it to be fine for that. We have gone ahead when it was raining in the past so we will again,” said Pauline.

The events raise money for Purton Helping Hand, a group which helps to support disabled, elderly, sick, and needy in the village.

It celebrates 50 years next year.