Hot cross bun fun!
DESPITE horrible weather forcing organisers to change the location of this year s traditional Good Friday hot cross bun giveaway, two groups of friends were keen to repeat their first in line experience. It was the boys versus the girls this year to see w
DESPITE horrible weather forcing organisers to change the location of this year's traditional Good Friday hot cross bun giveaway, two groups of friends were keen to repeat their first in line experience.
It was the boys versus the girls this year to see who would get to the front of the queue at the Masonic Hall and it was a hotly contested battle.
Matt Ward, 13, was the first to step into the building closely followed by Shawn Mackay, also 13, Declan West and Declan Lines, both 12.
Matt, and the two Declans were also triumphant in first place last year, and although the lads had been waiting since about 3.30am their enthusiasm hadn't waned.
Matt, said: "We have been waiting here for hours. I'm feeling a little bit cold but not tired although I hardly had any sleep."
The group were met by Katie Turner and Shannon Taylor, both 14 who arrived on the sea front at a similar time, followed by 12-year-old Emily Potts at 5.30am.
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The girls were second in the queue last year and insisted they were joint first with the boys this year.
Emily said: "Last year it was really fun coming down really early in the morning and we wanted to beat everyone again."
The excited youngsters braved rotten weather and played football to keep occupied until around 7.20am when they were told by organisers the giveaway would take place in the Masonic Hall.
It finally stopped pouring at around 8am and by 8.30am the drizzle had all but disappeared.
Huddling inside the entrance for warmth the two groups watched on as Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun chairman, Mike Wood, and other helpers packed the bags with Vinnicombe's hot cross buns, Cr�me Eggs and Winchester's oranges.
By the time 9am arrived, Sidmouth Town Band struck up and Bill Lankester, MBE, officially opened the 2009 giveaway, the queue snaked up through the High Street and down Salcombe Road.
Mr Lankester said: "It is a wonderful event run by Sidmouth people for the local community.
"I hope we can collect as much money as we can for next year and we have to make sure it can go on for the next 100 years."
Mr Wood, speaking after the giveaway, said: "It wasn't so good as it would have been outside, but considering the weather we were surprised with the turn out. It was better than we could have wished.
"I have been here for about 38 years and this is only the second time we have had to have it inside.
"It is a matter of space. When we are down in the car park we have a lot more room but you can't have wet hot cross buns!"
About 2,000 buns are usually ordered to make up 1,000 bags for eager youngsters to collect in the morning.
Mr Wood added: "We had about 100 bags left over which we distribute to old peoples homes so nothing goes to waste. Last year we hardly had any left but it's a chance you have to take. All we can do is hope for better weather next year.