North Norfolk residents dig deep for annual Children in Need appeal

North Norfolk residents showed their charitable side once again and organised a variety of events in support of the annual Children in Need appeal.

Three regular customers at The Vernon Arms in Southrepps took on a man-versus-food sponsored challenge to help the pub raise more than �800.

Seated at a table in the centre of the bar, surrounded by a cheering crowd and lit up by spotlights, the strong stomached trio each successfully ate one monster-sized course of a three-course meal.

For starters there was five pints of soup mopped up with a whole loaf of bread. The main was a whopping two-kilo pie, a kilo of chips and a pint of mushy peas, while dessert was a gigantic chocolate bread and pudding.

Assistant manager Shaun Thurlow said: 'The challengers did have some help from the audience but they were all very full afterwards.

'There was a brilliant atmosphere. People were encouraging them every step of the way. It was a great laugh and everybody enjoyed themselves.'

Vernon Arms sous chef Neil Williams also took on the challenge of eating a bowl of super-hot chilli prepared by head chef Jamie Everson to help raise funds for the good cause. Pub customers paid �1 to try the flaming dish, which was added to the final total.

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Mr Thurlow added: 'Everyone who tried it went red in the face. Neil finished the whole dish but I think he suffered a bit the next day.'

Children's entertainer Anne Bloor, also known as Dizzy Wizzy, raised �234 with a bucket collection in Sheringham.

The 38-year-old from Sheringham got dolled up in her clown's face and clothes and spent Friday morning visiting shops and local people with friend Sarah Knowles, who was in charge of shaking the charity bucket. She said: 'A lot of people said we made their day.'

An auction of promises and a cocktail night at The White Horse in Overstrand raised at least �250 for the appeal. A low turnout meant the auction had to be cancelled after only one lot - a pair of tickets to the Norwich v Manchester City game on December 29, which sold for �100.

The cocktails, which included Pudsey Punch and the specially created Horse's Tail, proved more popular, raising at least �150 towards the final total.

Pub manager and cocktail maker James Bird said: 'It wasn't particularly nice weather in Cromer so perhaps people decided to stay in and watch Children in Need on the television instead. The cocktails went very well though and we sold lots of those.'

He added that he hoped to hold the promises auction early next year.