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Wacky racers cruise through Cookham
LIBERACE played the piano as he raced a red bus carrying Simon Cowell and the royal family through Cookham yesterday.
Hundreds watched on as a giant swan and The Stig in a baby’s pram followed in hot pursuit down the Church Lane hill on Sunday afternoon.
The wacky racers were competing in the seventh annual Cookham Gravity Grand Prix, which raised thousands of pounds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
Peter Bowden, driver and part of The Kaffirs organising team, said: “It started out as one madcap idea and it has gone from strength to strength. It’s just good fun and a great day out.
“There’s a lot of bureaucracy we have to jump through and something like 400 man hours to organise, its enormous work, but well worth it.”
Eccentric inventor Peter Bartlett – who was previously sent a can of baked beans and a ‘flying carpet’ down the hill – was behind the piano.
The Cookham resident, who won the main Spirit of the Event prize, said: “The thought of going down the hill on a piano brought me back, it’s my dream and it’s all for charity.
“Countrywide Piano donated the piano to me, I put a chaise, plates and steering on it and away we go. Liber-racy, I call it.
“There are no free family days out any more - everyone enjoys it.”
24 karts took part in this year’s grand prix, with the racers clocking up speeds of more than 30mph – the fastest time was the Endeavour team.
Dan Pearson took on the role of conductor Boris Johnson on board the number 20 service red bus, The Route Disaster. But it was pipped to the post in the Best Novelty Kart category by Pimp My Pram.
Mr Pearson said: “Last year we entered a quick kart and came second, by a long way. He re-entered this year and we didn’t think we’d have a chance at beating him which is why we went for a comedy entry!
“It took us about 150 hours of work – especially to get the likes of David ‘call me Dave’ Cameron on the front, with Will, Kate and baby George.
“I love this event, it’s a lot more relaxed than others around the country.”
The winner of the Best Technical Design & Appearance award was Penn Pusher Mk 4.
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