THE mayor of Malvern experienced the historic water cure as hundreds flocked to the town's water festival in the record-breaking bank holiday heat.

Cllr Cynthia Palmer joined the esteemed ranks of those who have experienced the water cure, helping her cool down during the hottest early May Day bank holiday Monday on record at Big Splash Monday for the Malvern Well Dressing and Water Festival.

Around 300 people of all ages attended Priory Park to enjoy the day on Monday during a weekend of fun.

Cllr Palmer was described by John Harcup, chairman of the Malvern Spa Association, as a 'willing victim' before she was wrapped up in white sheets.

She said 'you could have warned me!' after the cold water was poured over her from the bandstand.

The cure dates back to 1842 and Cllr Palmer joins the likes of Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale who had the restorative treatment.

The festival was also a chance to give out prizes for the dressing of more than 50 wells in Malvern with gold, bronze or silver awarded to various groups including schools, churches and Brownies with the chairman's cup this year going to Rick Banbury for organising the well dressing.

Other highlights included a surf simulator sampled by Dominik Cieslar, 10, who also won a gold in the well dressing with St James's Primary School. People got the chance to experience a mobile theatre show called 'The Whale', water tasting and live music from Gersom Engels and Mal Salisbury, the economic development officer from Malvern Hills District Council.

They played a string of hits including Take it Easy by the Eagles, Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis and Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival.

Making a splash with the crowds was captain Horatio Crumbucket, playing a mandolin and being carried by a deep sea diver.