THE hardy participants of a decades-old Easter tradition in Hedley-on-the-Hill didn’t let the heavy snow put a dampener on the Bank Holiday event.

Monday’s Hedley Barrel Race saw seven teams of three compete to beat the clock as they lugged an empty beer keg to a finish line at the Feathers Inn.

The one-mile stretch goes through two farmer’s fields and up a steep slope to the finish.

But the snow on Monday left Feathers Inn owners Rhian Cradock and Helen Greer, the organisers of the event, wondering whether people would make it to the event.

Helen said: “We didn’t know if anyone was going to be able to get here in the morning but we had lots of very dedicated and hardy people and we are very grateful they came despite the weather.

“People were saying to me that they never remember having the barrel race in that much snow. There have been light sprinklings of snow on the ground but never this much.”

This is Rhian and Helen’s 11th year at the award-winning pub, which last year won the award for the best roast dinner in England, but the Easter event is believed to have taken place since at least the 1960s.

This year, the team named BLOC3 took first place, made up of Matt Butcher, Ross Brown and Ian Brown, with a time of nine minutes and eight seconds.

In second place was the team made up of Eddie Halstead, Steven Brady and Matthew Turnbull who completed the race in nine minutes and 32.

Philip Hindmarsh, Mark Russell and Danny Gilhome, who turned up to the race dressed in lederhosen, took the trophy for best fancy dress.

“It was a good turn out and people had great fun,” added Helen.

The barrel race, which raised money for the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, was followed by egg jarping which was popular with families including those who return year on year to take part in the Easter tradition.

Haydon Bridge’s annual wheelbarrow race fell victim to heavy sleet showers on the Monday.

The event, which has been a mainstay in the village for half a century, was set to include a junior race this year, to compliment the long-running adult version but the route was not safe to go-ahead.