SUBZERO temperatures did not deter the thousands of people who poured on to the streets of North Devon to see in the New Year.

SUBZERO temperatures did not deter the thousands of people who poured on to the streets of North Devon to see in the New Year.

In Barnstaple the Long Bridge, Taw Vale and Square were packed as thousands watched midnight fireworks following the big count down conducted by the Mayor, Councillor Jeremy Phillips.

Although bitter cold kept many Bideford revellers off the streets during the earlier part of the night, they spilled out in their costumed thousands as midnight approached, to maintain the town's reputation as a celebration hotspot.

Those who did come out early were entertained by acts and music on the original 1980s Radio One Roadshow trailer, bought by local businessman Steve Clarke and refurbished to provide a riverside venue, including fun and games for youngsters and families during the early part of the night.

As older revellers left their homes and the town's pubs and clubs to play their parts, the quayside and surrounding roads quickly filled up with a crowd of some 10,000 to see in the New Year to the strains of a lone piper and the spectacle of a fireworks display across the river.

Barnstaple crowds were entertained by live music, plus comperes James Chapple and PJ before local rock band Mendella brought a packed house down.

Ian Roome, chairman of the organising NYE Charity Events Committee, said the whole thing had gone very well.

"It was a very successful night despite the freezing weather - at its peak we had the Square, plus the roads along Taw Vale and the bridge all full."

The cold weather did not deter an impromptu streaker earlier in the evening, either, although the young man's bid for five minutes of fame was cut short by vigilant police officers. He was asked to leave the area and received a fixed penalty fine for his troubles.

However, Acting Sergeant Earl Napier said they were very pleased with the night as a whole, which saw just two arrests and four instances of people moved on for anti social behaviour.

Follow our web links to view picture galleries of both Barnstaple and Bideford New Year celebrations.