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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 10 - Friday 21st March 2003 - Choose another issue
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BRIAN PEGG - RAFT RACES


The Raft Races are one of the hardest events to organise for the Carnival because it depends on good weather conditions, tides and much more. The late John Burgess MBE was the organiser who had a good working committee. The raft race got bigger and bigger every year until in one year there were 92 rafts. Entrants came from as far afield as Coventry, Nottingham and Leicester. Rafts were stretching out from West End beach shop to the chalets. Crowds of spectators used to line the cliffs to watch the spectacular race. John organised marshals and each raft was scrutinised, they had to make sure everyone had lifebelts and that 'they were all in the right mind'! Rafts left on the beach had to be guarded to make sure there was no funny business. It would be left up until Sunday noon to see what the weather was like and to see if the raft race could go ahead. Then a meeting with the coastguards and the coxswains from Sheringham and Cromer at 1 o'clock to see if they thought it safe, if they did then the race would start about 1.30 just after high water, when there was still 'a little flood tide' to help rafts get started.

There would be 'fast rafts' and of course the usual comic rafts entering each year. When the maroon was fired near the Upcher breakwater, the fast rafts would go to Weybourne, and then the comic rafts would head for Cromer. The support boats and the in/off shore lifeboats from Cromer and Sheringham's off shore lifeboat didn't return home until all the rafts had reached shore safely. They enlisted the help of local fishing boats, from Sheringham, Weybourne, the Runtons, Cromer and Overstrand. Jet Ski's, and a helichopter to oversee any problems and ensure safety.

The presentation for the winners was held at The Cliftonville Hotel in Cromer the following February, when plans for the next raft race were started. The Raft Races were one of the highlights of the Carnival every year.

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FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY WARNS AGAINST DRINKING CONTAMINATED VODKA



The Food Standards Agency is issuing an urgent warning to anyone who may have bought a brand of vodka called Imperial Valkonov Vodka. This product could contain dangerous levels of methanol. The Agency is advising anyone who may have a bottle of this vodka not to drink it. The origin of the vodka is not yet known, nor is it known where the vodka might be on sale. Anyone who has a bottle or who sees it on sale should contact their local authority.

Sheringham Community Paper



This amount of methanol should not be present in vodka and if consumed, could cause serious harm to health. Effects of methanol poisoning include abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness, blurred vision leading to blindness and breathing difficulties. Symptoms of methanol poisoning can be delayed for several hours and anyone who thinks they may have drunk this product should seek immediate medical advice. The Agency was alerted today after 24 bottles of the vodka were found on sale in the Loughborough area. The bottles have been sent for testing, however they are very similar to vodka previously found on sale in Manchester that also contained high levels of methanol. The bottles are also marked 'Distributed for K.M.G. 57, Bodana Khmelnitskogo Str 236039 Kalinginrad Russia for EEC'.

The officer dealing with this hazard is: David Yard ENQUIRIES ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THIS FOOD HAZARD WARNING SHOULD BE MADE TO: - TEL: 020 7276 8448: FAX: 020 7276 8446
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