An unlikely participant helped out at a trial run for a historical project.

Waltham Abbey Historical Society (WAHS) was testing a drone which will take aerial photographs when members line the original walls of the town’s church on Saturday.

Clive Simpson and colleagues were staging a dummy run for aerial photographs this weekend and found a group of women from Brighton on a hen night enjoying a picnic in the church.

They offered to help out and appeared in a practice run.

But it was only when he developed the picture that he noticed something not quite right.

He soon realised the hen party had included a blow-up doll in the line, which had been brought along as a prop.

Mr Simpson said: “From a distance I didn’t realise but when I downloaded the image I could see what it was.

“We archive all our pictures so people 50 years from now can see what we did and this picture will be no different.

“It’s a funny story for someone to look back at in the future.”

The inflatable doll is not expected to take part in the actual event on Saturday, which happens in High Bridge Street at 10.30am.