THE rain failed to deter visitors to the Trowbridge Apple Festival as organisers celebrated staging the annual event in a new indoor location.

Scores of people passed through the door at Emmanuel’s Yard near St James’ Church in Church Street to learn more about England’s national fruit.

They were greeted by a whole host of stalls and activities focusing on apples, food and drink producers, the environment and traditional country crafts.

Organiser Cllr Mel Jacob, of The BIG Community Grow, said: "It has been brilliant. People seem really happy with the event.

"I was really worried because we are in a different venue which some people do not know but we have had a steady stream of people all day."

Trowbridge mayor, Cllr Denise Bates, spent most of the day at the Festival and helped to judge the Apple Bake-Off competition.

This was won by Izzy Bourton, 9, a Year 5 pupil at The Mead School, whose "mouth-watering" apple pie impressed the judges, Cllr Bates, chef Catherine Maxwell and a representative from local bakers Henley's Cake Company.

Last year's winner, Brenda Palmer, was unable to defend her title as her cooker broke down three days before the event.

Cllr Bates presented Izzy with the Mary Pearce Cup, named after the former owner of Courtfield House, where the festival has been held in the orchard for the past few years.

Cllr Bates also presented the organisers with a Trowbridge Town Council grant to help offer the event free to the community.

The event included live music from Westwood, a duo from Bradford on Avon, and morris dancing by the Bathampton Morris Men.

Visitors were able to listen to short talks from a wide range of speakers including Bradford on Avon Climate Friendly, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Trowbridge Museum and Fairtrade Trowbridge, as well as gardening expert Richard Cripps, orchard expert Martin Hayes and local apple juice and cider producer Oliver Dowding.

Mr Cripps and Mr Hayes were also on hand to advise on pruning fruit trees as well as offering general gardening advice. Mr Hayes also identified apple varieties for those who wanted to find out what variety their apple tree is.

Visitors had the chance to have a go at making apple juice using three different apple presses and taste many different varieties of apple.

Those with their own apples were able to bring them along with a container and press their own juice.

Fun games and crafts for children included the longest apple peel competition, apple bobbing and an archery challenge.

Traditional crafts on show included basket weaver Geoff Travers from Southwick, wooden spoon maker Gerry Barton from Hilperton, and beekeepers Geraldine and Frank Lenert from Keevil.

Gemma Fry, of Trowbridge Environmental Community, made smoothies for visitors using a pedal cycle, while Jennie Quigley promoted the Trowbridge Lantern Festival which is taking place on Saturday, November 27 from 5pm to 7pm in Trowbridge Town Park.

There were also displays by Bradford on Avon Climate Friendly and Trowbridge Environmental Community.