SATURDAY'S Bromyard Hop Festival was the biggest in the event's four-year history – attracting attention from the other side of the world.

People from as far away as Australia were able to join the fun as, for the first time, the event's World Championship Hop Pocket Race, was streamed live online.

The race sees teams of four carry a full size hop pocket around a road course and an obstacle in Bromyard town centre against the clock .

"The Hop Festival has always been a free event, designed to attract visitors and publicise Bromyard," said committee chairman, Ian Raven.

"So we're delighted to know that our festival has reached so far this year."

One woman was able to cheer on her daughter in the race from Brisbane, Australia.

This year's event, followed by one mum in Brisbane, Australia, watching her daughter race, also saw the first performance of a new Hop Play which took visitors into the 50s, when the mechanisation of hop-picking was beginning.

Also a first this year was a children's team in the Hop Pocket Race as well as street entertainers and a circus workshop.

"In terms of visitor numbers, this is the biggest event of the year in Bromyard town centre," said Mr Raven. "We estimate that more than 3,500 people massed in Broad Street and High Street to watch the Hop Pocket Race.

"Many of the town's traders made a special effort to cater for the crowds, and public comments on the day tell us that many visitors had come to the town for the first time. We're sure they'll be back now they've "discovered" Bromyard."

The race's winning team, Bromyard Rugby Club, set a new record of two minutes, 22 seconds while the winning women's team – the Queen's Jugglers from the town's Queen's Arms – finished in three minutes, 35 seconds.

The international field included teams of Romanian and Polish fruit-pickers, and other teams came from regional breweries and hop-merchants.

Prizes were presented by Toni McDonald of BBC Hereford and Worcester.