Visitors cheer for the snails in the annual racing championships. Picture: Kevin Elfleet.

This year’s annual snail racing championships in Congham has been hailed as ‘the best ever.’

About 175 snails took part in the annual competition, which saw George the garden snail romp home in first place.

Owned by 31-year-old Dale Thorne, of Gayton, George covered the 13-inch course in two minutes, 45 seconds.

But he failed to beat the record time of two minutes, set by a snail named Archie in 1995.

The tradition has been going in  Congham since the 1960s after founder Tom Elwes witnessed an event in France.

Farmer and snail trainer, Neil Riseborough, said: “It was the best ever – the audience was excited and showed so much support.

“The warm weather didn’t affect the race as we kept the course moist.”

There were many other attractions at the Congham Fete, which was held at the cricket field on Saturday.

Visitors watched the King’s Morris dancers  perform for the first time at the fete.

Organiser Helen Lilley, said: “The morris dancers were a big hit. They were due to dance at the fete four years ago, but it was called off due to rain.

“But this year, the conditions were perfect.  We really had a good day.”

Mrs Lilley added the face-painting was also a “big success” with the children.

Live music was performed by local three-piece band, Dreirad.

Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, held a tombola stall to raise funds for its new facility in Hillington.

The fete raised almost £3,000 towards a new roof for St Andrew’s Church in Congham.

“We are really pleased,” said Mrs Lilley.