Crowds of people filled the streets of Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday for the town’s eleventh Food & Drink Festival, despite strong winds from Storm Brian leading to outdoor trading finishing early.

Dozens of traders showcased the best of Somerset food and drink across the town centre, alongside cookery demonstrations, tractors and farm animals.

Co-organiser Bev Milner Simonds told the event had been a success, even though outdoor traders were asked to stop trading at 1pm because of safety concerns caused by the high winds from Storm Brian.

She told “We are really pleased – we had a busy morning of trade in breezy sunshine. We then took the Met Office advice to finish trading at 1pm with the support of our traders. We kept our indoor entertainment going through the afternoon but I think we made the right call after a good day’s trading.”

Among the visitors was TV’s Great British Bake Off competitor Val Stones, pictured above with the event’s marshalls.

Val told “It was superb to be here in Burnham. I’ve had a great day, selling cakes for a breast cancer charity and the people of Burnham have been very generous with their support.”

Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey was among the crowd during Saturday’s festival, meeting traders and visitors.

He told “Bev and Sarah put in so much work on this amazing day every six months and are to be congratulated.”

Traders reported a positive day of limited hours trade. Alex Rubbo at Taylors Bakery said: “We’ve done fairly well and were still swelling as we packed up. It’s a great shame about the weather but that can’t be helped.”

Visitors enjoyed a day of entertainment with tractors, livestock, music, demos, workshops and scores of food stalls. The food and drink producers offered staples like cheese, bread, chutneys and meats alongside cakes, chocolates, wines and pies plus hot foods.

Kate Vowles at MD Kidner fruit and veg said they’d had a good day: “It was the right decision to stop treading at lunchtime to keep everyone safe after a good morning’s trade.”

Town centre shops reported mixed trade through the day with shops at the southern end mostly quiet, but those nearer the festival busy.

Deryk Monaghan at KDS Interiors in Victoria Street said: “We had a good day – it was busy and we have four new sales leads.”

Fishmonger Gaynor Wright at Sea Foods said: “It’s been really busy for us – we set up a stall outside the shop and it attracted lots of passing trade.”

Truckle’s Ron Bashford added: “We have had a busy day, there werfe more customers than I expected considering the weather.”

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