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Carnival 2000 - Around The World

A Personal Reflection

Weather Watch

So, we went to bed on Friday night with threats of thunderstorms and hail. I learned that Eaton Bray, Dunstable, Luton and Watford all got drenched during the afternoon but, thanks be to God, although we saw a few dark clouds they all passed us by.

Of banners, bunting and balloons

What a community! Prior to the Carnival I visited many of my neighbours in Northall to make advanced sales of draw tickets. They told me how much they have enjoyed seeing all the house decorations on the procession route in the past. They would not have been disappointed this year. More houses than ever made an effort this year and the villages looked simply terrific. No doubt those who walked the procession route in the evening this year thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Judging was very difficult - there were many potential winners. However, the prizes of rose bowls, donated by the Leighton Buzzard Observer, went to 99 High Street and The Village Flower Shop, with consolation bottles of drink going to 6 Moor End and The Willows. Well done everyone.

The procession - such a close call

This year's procession was organised with military precision by Ron Atherton - his first time. Well done, Ron. This year's judge was John Bercow, MP for the Buckinghamshire villages. I have no idea how he differentiated between the floats in all of the classes - I was pleased it wasn't me having to make the decisions. As it was, we had to visit one of the classes three times before John could decide any of the places. Well done everyone who contributed to such beautifully decorated vehicles. It seems there is hardly a child aged between 5 and 10 from the villages who fails to get on one of the floats.

Well done to our Carnival Queen, Princess and attendants: Karly West, Abigail Mustoe, Georgia West & Stephanie Phillips. They looked wonderful and I understand they all had a super day.

Special thanks to Marianne Grace for her work to gather representatives from each of the Continents, to the Classic Car entries and to all those firms and individuals who donated lorries for use in the procession.

Results for the floats were:

  Pre School School Age Others
1st Edlesborough Under Fives Friends of Edlesborough School Salvation Army Sunday School
2nd Slapton Under 5's Eaton Bray Lower School The Hawkes Family
3rd Eaton Bray Pre-School Playgroup Joint 3rd - 1st EB Brownies
2nd EB Brownies
Joint 3rd - EB Lawn Tennis Club
Brilliant Publications

All the fun .......

So on to the Green. There were quite a few newcomers to the Carnival this year. Without exception they commented that ours is one of the best organised events they attend. Thanks are due to an outstanding committee of hard working and enthusiastic volunteers. They are a delight to work with thank you all. And thanks too to those hardworking members of St Mary's Church community. I suspect that well over 1000 person hours of effort was put in by them. They are a very special group of people.

It is wonderful to see thousands of people enjoying themselves on Carnival Day. The Green is empty at 7.30am and at 7.30pm but, in between, there is a hive of activity and many happy, smiling faces. Some of the new attractions this year included the hot air balloon, Dave Johnson with his sculpting and the mini cars for the children. Hopefully, there was plenty to look at and do for all ages.

It was good to see so many local organisations taking stalls on the Green. These good causes possibly raised as much as £10,000 between them to continue their good work in the villages. This on top of the money raised by the organising committee, which is likely to be around £8000. Distribution of this money will be as follows:

  • 50% to St Mary's Church Fabric Fund
  • 25% to Eaton Bray Village Hall
  • 25% to local charities & good causes in sums ranging from £75 to £300

Local good causes can write to Gordon Gray using the form provided if they could use a share of the money available.

Of course, the organisers welcome new ideas so please feed your comments and suggestions back. The committee would like to convey particular thanks to Ken Coates and Graham Westgate, who both recognised that their businesses had a good deal to offer to the Carnival and contacted the Committee with prizes and attractions. We hope that their example will be followed by more next year.

Results of Major Draws

  • Grand Draw: Holiday for 2 donated by LBO - Dr Chris Barker
  • Dave Johnson's sculpture: Roger Thorne,
  • Helicopter flight for 4: Barbara Marriage
  • Clarabel - Prize of £150: Yvonne Jenkins

Of photos and coverage

There has been excellent coverage of this year's Carnival and plenty of photographs in the Leighton Buzzard Observer, Dunstable Gazette and the Citizen but those with Internet access can visit Martin Rollings' website on www.eatonbray.co.uk to see many more photographs. Martin has also made a video of the Carnival that is available for sale - the committee will receive a donation from any videos purchased.

Next year

Plans are already under way for next year's Carnival on 7th July 2001. The theme will be "The Wild West". Any businesses that would like to be associated with this highly successful event next year can contact the Chairman of the Committee, Gordon Gray, using the form provided. Donations of prizes for next year's Grand Draw will be especially welcome. So, 'See you at the Carnival' again next year, God bless you all. Gordon

© Focus Magazine 2000