Bideford is again a New Year hotspot

FREEZING conditions failed to turn down the temperature in Bideford as the town was once again one of the hottest places to see in the New Year. Thousands of revellers donned their costumes to join in the party on the quayside, entertained by a

FREEZING conditions failed to turn down the temperature in Bideford as the town was once again one of the hottest places to see in the New Year.

Thousands of revellers donned their costumes to join in the party on the quayside, entertained by a roadshow trailer with a variety of live acts.

Some simply defied the weather in colourful, scanty outfits, while others dressed up for the occasion in warm fur coats and even a sleeping bag made for two.

From Rubik's cubes and Christmas presents to soldiers, sailors and spacemen, saucy Santas, cows, dogs, gnomes, bananas, wizards, characters from the silver screen and even knights in shining armour -


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imaginations and costumes ran riot.

They came from all over the local area and from other parts of the country, too, attracted by Bideford's well-established reputation as one of England's NYE hotspots and, for many, the opportunity to return to their roots and meet up with families and friends.

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The early evening was devoted to the youngsters, with families congregating around the roadshow for fun, games and their own fancy dress competition.

As the night wore on the older revellers left the local pubs and clubs to fill the quayside and welcome in the New Year, to the accompaniment of fireworks over the river.

Steve Clarke, chairman of the organising committee, said the night had been its usual good humoured success.

A change in style to provide more live entertainments had gone down well, he said. Families who turned out for the early evening entertainment had enjoyed themselves and the Samba band had gone down particularly well, having youngsters and parents dancing in the streets.

Bideford's celebrations are sponsored by the town council, with the district council providing its contribution in kind, including the big after-party clear-up.

*More pictures in this week's Gazette.

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