Residents of Upper Denton were relieved to find that what threatened to be an alien invasion of their privacy was narrowly avoided this evening.
At 19.45 the imminent landing of a large red spacecraft was detected and the local Home Guard (or at least the Godsmark, Parsons and Christian members) turned out. The landing duly took place in the field next to bridleway running North from Oak Lodge on Darrow Green Road.
To everyone's relief, the vessel turned out to be not an alien invasion craft but a large hot-air balloon carrying two crew and sixteen passengers. They had taken off from the Oaksmere Hotel in Broome near Diss and seemed surprised to find themselves in Denton.
Spectators were asked to tip the craft's basket on its side before the balloon was deflated and packed up for loading on a support vehicle which, together with a coach for the passengers, soon arrived.
The balloon carried the Virgin logo but there was no sign of Mr Branson. The owner of the field, David Parsons, was rewarded with a suitably effervescent present.
Photos by "Dave"