A popular festival has returned for the ninth year running, attended by local partygoers.

Witham Beer Festival, jointly organised by the town’s hockey and cricket clubs, took place at their shared ground on Maldon Road over the weekend.

From Thursday to Saturday, an estimated 1,800 visitors turned out to sample over 100 varieties of real ale and cider, alongside wines and catering from Peckish.

Festival Committee member Matt Sims said: “Each year we rely heavily on our volunteers and are very grateful for the time they give. Without them a festival of this size could not go ahead.

“We were also very grateful to individuals, families and businesses that sponsored either a barrel, a programme advert or for having their banner up.”

With last year’s festival being disrupted by rain, visitors were relieved this year’s event came amid a mini heatwave, which attracted more footfall during the afternoons of both Friday and Saturday.

The fine weather also meant cricket matches could be played to keep visitors entertained.

Following an opening ‘social night’ on Thursday, Friday evening was given to live music in the form of popular cover group Six String Makeover.

On Saturday, Witham MP Priti Patel took a break from her new role as Home Secretary to drop by and pull a pint.

Matt said: “Priti has been a valued supporter for many years now, not only by visiting and being a sponsor, but also by encouraging friends and contacts to support us too.”

The festival then concluded with a party night on Saturday, helmed by DJ Terry on the decks.

Matt said: “Overall the festival was a big success and already we have had very positive feedback.”

He added: “Any money raised after costs this year will as always go to maintaining the pavilion and grounds and to help in providing affordable sport for the community through cricket and hockey.”

All photos shown are credited to Witham Beer Festival.