THIRSTY ale and cider fans raised a glass at the 15th annual Seend Beer Festival on Saturday.

More than 500 attended the sell-out event at Seend Community Centre and, with a choice of 33 beers and nine ciders, punters celebrating the birth of the royal princess were not short of a drink to wet the baby’s head.

The quickest beer to sell out was Dorset Knob, a zesty light amber ale, with a malty character and floral bouquet. The other favourites were Dibber by Shed Ales and Slovenian Dream by Downton.

Soft drinks were also available to youngsters who made use of the play area outside while their parents soaked up the atmosphere.

The ladies from Seend family-run business Padfield Porkies were also on hand to help people wash down their drinks with a hog roast and bacon and sausage baps.

Spirits were high throughout the afternoon as the rain stayed away and there was entertainment from Melksham Ukulele Social Club, Kate Lomas, Funked Up and Indecision.

Organiser Richard Todhunter said: “It went very well indeed. We sold out of tickets in advance a week before and we had 580 people there.

“It’s a great family atmosphere and has become a big major event in Seend’s calendar and for the surrounding areas, such as Trowbridge, Melksham and Devizes.

“It stayed dry but it was a bit chilly so we stayed inside. We had a group of lads dressed up as sailors on a stag do, they had moored at the canal and most of them had come from Bristol and one from Portsmouth especially for the beer festival.”

The takings are still to be counted by Mr Todhunter but he believes the festival will have raised about £2,000 to £3,000 which will go Seend Community Centre funds.

A date has already been set for next year’s event, which will take place on April 30.