A TROPICAL downpour and a Tropical Force made for a record attendance and bumper profits at the Little Marlow Village Fete this year.

A spell of torrential rain in the middle of the afternoon did not stop hundreds of visitors from pouring into the village recreation ground to enjoy Bank Holiday Monday's event - nor did it stop a steel band named Tropical Force from drumming out its cheery Caribbean tunes across the field.

Clive Innocent, chairman of the Little Marlow Amenities Committee which organises the fete, said: "It's been another good day. Despite the mid-afternoon downpour, we have had a record attendance and, although we haven't counted up the money yet, we understand that a record sum of money was taken."

All of the profits are going back into the village as in the past the committee has helped restore the cricket pavilion and build a playground.

Groups from Marlow, Bourne End and Cookham set up attractions at the community event - which is something of a tradition as it has been taking place each Bank Holiday weekend since at least the 1950s.

This year, the Bourne End Junior Sports Club set up a football goal-scoring game and children queued up to have a "blast" on the Rotary Rocket - a colourful car driven by members of the Cookham Bridge Rotary and the Bourne End and Cookham Rotary clubs.

A flying display at 3pm just missed the rain as a Harris' hawk was set free by Steve Wise, 42.

There was also a static display of birds belonging to Mr Wise - with children as young as two handling them under assistance.

He has now been invited back to next year's fete.

He said: "Everybody we spoke to was fascinated.

"We even took our ferrets there which were well received."

Mini-golf, cricket games, a tombola, tea and cakes, and stalls selling plants, bric-a-crac and second-hand books were also enjoyed by visitors.

And the parish council had a good day as - thanks to the rain - crowds of people took an interest in their display.

Councillor Dallas Banfield said: "It's been fantastic.

"We have had an enormous amount of people looking at our stall to find out what the parish council does.

"We had a massive downpour in the afternoon when it was absolutely tipping it down. But it was great for us as lots of people came and hid under our tent so they had a look!"