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Carnival 2003 - Circus

A Personal Reflection

People ask me if I pray for a sunny Carnival day. Well no, I don't. My ideal weather for Carnival would be calm, cool and overcast and if the interest generated by the Wimbledon ladies tennis final is ordinary then so much the better. So you can imagine that I was delighted with what God provided for us on 5 July this year - calm, cool, overcast and a rematch of Williams v Williams.

Donations from 1996 to 2003

Perfect circumstances and I hope that most of you will all feel it was a perfect result. The Green was crowded, stalls seemed to being doing good business and the atmosphere was one of convivial good-humour. As a result the Carnival Committee is delighted to be able to donate £10,700 to local good causes (see 'Who will benefit?') - a sum that is 20% more than the previous record.

Thanks must go to everyone who participated in any way to make the day a success.

  • The Parish Councils, Police and St Johns Ambulance.
  • Everyone who dressed their house or helped make costumes for the children on the procession floats and to all those local organisations who had floats or stalls.
  • Everyone to helped prepare the field, shift tables etc especially those stalwarts who were there at the end of the day.
  • To everyone who participated in any way or came along and spent their money.
  • Special thanks to business and individuals who support the Carnival through advertising, donation of goods, services or money. If your business would like to help us out next year please get in touch with me.

Most importantly, thanks must go to all the members of the Committee who give up so much time, energy and money to make our Carnival such a success: Chris Banks, Peter Bennett, Kevin Eagling, Theo Gray, Vivienne Grundy, Maggie Kerr, Ann Lee, David Marriage, Mark Saccoccio, Rebecca Shaw, Peter Thomas, Alison Tigg, Robert Tigg and Alison Walley. The latter two are leaving the Committee after years (many in Robert's case) of excellent service. They will be missed, so if you feel that you have something to contribute to the Committee then please get in touch with me. Most important, if you see any of these people in the street do stop them, thank them, and tell them what a fine job they do for our community.

Gordon's 2003 costumeThe year saw the introduction of the Worm Charming competition. Our winner, Stacey Loczy, has received an invitation to participate in the 25th running of the World Worm Charming Championship next year, though I suspect that she will have to charm more than two worms to be in with a chance of winning. I am determined to beat all-comers next year so I do hope some of you will spend the winter perfecting patent worm charming devices ready for next year's Carnival. That will take place, as usual, on Edlesborough Green on the first Saturday in July, 3rd July, when the theme will be 'Fantasy'. (Perhaps Mrs Bradbury will be able to wear the same costume as this year!)

2003 was my seventh year as Chairman of the Carnival Committee and I have decided to enjoy a period of 'retirement' for a while to enable me to balance the demands of work, family and church. I will, however, remain on the Carnival Committee and expect to be looking after the Procession next year. It is an enormous strength of this community and, indeed of the Carnival Committee, that a replacement Chairman, Peter Bennett, has stepped forward to manage the event in 2004. Thank you, Peter. I am sure he will get the same level of support and commitment that has been evident during my period of Chairmanship.

St Mary's Village Carnival Committee
Gordon Gray



Pictures taken along the procession route

  • Eaton -bray -brownies
  • Eaton -bray -lower -school
  • Gg
  • Gift
  • Pr _1
  • Pr _10
  • Pr _11
  • Pr _12
  • Pr _2
  • Pr _3
  • Pr _4
  • Pr _5
  • Pr _6
  • Pr _7
  • Pr _8
  • Pr _9
  • Pr _a
  • Pr _b
  • Pr _c
  • Pr _gg
  • Pr _v1
  • Pr _v2
  • Pr _v3
  • Pr _v4


Pictures of arena events, including Fancy Dress and the Worm Charming

  • Fd _1
  • Fd _2
  • Fd _3
  • Fv 03
  • Wc _1
  • Wc _2
  • Wc _3
  • Wc _4

Carnival Field

Pictures taken around Edlesborough Green during the Carnival

  • F 01
  • F 02
  • F 03
  • F 04
  • F 05
  • F 06
  • F 08
  • F 09
  • F 10
  • F 11
  • F 12
  • F 13
  • F 14
  • F 15
  • F 16
  • F 17
  • F 18
  • F 19
  • F 20
  • F 23
  • F 24
  • F 25
  • F 26
  • F 27
  • F 28
  • F 29
  • F 30
  • F 32
  • F 33
  • F 34
  • F 36
  • F 37
  • Fv 01
  • Fv 02
  • Fv 04
  • Fv 05
  • Fv 06
  • Fv 07
  • Fv 08
  • Fw 01
  • Fw 02

Classic Vehicles

Pictures of the Vintage and Classic Cars, Bikes and Tractors that took part.

  • Cc 01
  • Cc 02
  • Cc 03
  • Cc 04
  • Cc 05
  • Cc 06
  • Cc 07
  • Cc 08
  • Cc 09
  • Cc 10
  • Cch1
  • Cch2
  • Ccv1
  • Ccv2

Best Dressed Houses

Photos of some of the Best Dressed Houses along the procession route

  • Eaton -bray
  • Edlesborough

Dog Show

Pictures of the Dog Show

  • Dog _1
  • Dog _2
  • Dog _3
  • Dog _4
  • Dog _5
  • Dogs_

Who Will Benefit?

The Carnival Committee is pleased to announce that this year's Carnival raised £10,700. This has been distributed to the following organisations:

  • St Mary's Church Fabric Fund
  • Hospice at Home Volunteers
  • St Johns Ambulance
  • Eaton Bray Village Hall
  • Edlesborough PC
  • Air Training Corps Dunstable
  • Air Training Corps Leighton Buzzard
  • Dunstable & District Scouts
  • Dagnall School
  • 1st E Bray & Edlesborough Scout Group
  • Edlesborough Cricket Club
  • Eaton Bray Pre-School Playgroup
  • Edlesborough Under 5s
  • Eaton Bray Lions Football Club
  • Eaton Bray Youth Club
  • Sitting Tall Trust
  • Claire Freeman Expedition
  • Liz Hayden Expedition
  • Taskers Row Sheltered Housing Scheme
  • Raptor Rescue
  • Dog Hotel
  • The Dove Counselling Service
  • Macmillan Cancer Relief
  • Corda
  • Silver Star Society
  • Eaton Bray Methodist Church
  • Churches Together

The Committee would like to thank all those individuals and businesses who so generously supported the Carnival through their time, money and equipment. We look forward to next year's Carnival on 3rd July 2004 when the theme will be 'Fantasy'.

The Organising Committee would be pleased to hear from any individuals or businesses who would like to volunteer their involvement or support. You can get in touch using the form provided.

St Mary's Village Carnival

Gordon Gray

Carnival Openers - Sue & John Parker

Sue and John ParkerSt Mary's Village Carnival Committee welcomes Sue and John Parker to open this year's Carnival.

Sue and John are real servants of our community and it is with great pleasure that we are able to thank them publicly for all their work by inviting them to judge the Procession floats and open the Carnival.

Although Sue's work is perhaps more widely recognised than John's, particularly for her eighteen years as Clerk to the Edlesborough Parish Council, the two work very much as a team in all they do. Since moving to Edlesborough in 1977 both have been actively involved in community life - on the Parish Council, FOES, Scouts, Edlesborough WI and especially serving Edlesborough Memorial Hall.

Many of you will remember the monthly Car Boot Sales held during the summer months over a period of ten years that John and Sue helped to organise - all in aid of the Memorial Hall refurbishment. Improvements have included: an extension, major work to the roof, provision of a damp proof course, gas central heating, new boiler room, new furniture and kitchen utensils, brick driveway and disabled path and access.

Another facility for which we should be grateful to the Parkers is the right to use a number of footpaths in the parish. These rights were only won after a 15 year planning battle culminating in a Public Enquiry. But these examples represent the public face of a couple who are just as much at home carrying out tasks that generally go unnoticed - cleaning the Memorial Hall, clearing litter of the Green, forking out ruts left after heavy lorries have been on the Green.

Sue and John take pride in their village and work hard for the good of the community. We are grateful for their example and all their endeavours on our behalf.

Carnival Queen, Princess & Attendants

This year's Carnival Queen, Princess and Attendants were as follows;

Queen   Princess
Tayler-Anne Crawford   Rachael Evans

Olivia Berry   Hannah Reddington

Particular thanks to:

  • Confetti Bridal Wear for their beautiful dresses
  • Chicks Crop Shop for doing the girls' hair
  • The Village Flower Shop for their flowers
  • Honeywick Carriages for their transport in the parade

Carnival Queen, Princess and Attendants

Officially opening the Carnival

Honeywick Carriages

If you are aged between 8 and 12 and are either in the congregation of St Mary's Church or you live in Edlesborough, Eaton Bray, Dagnall or Northall, you might like to be chosen as next year's Carnival Queen. If so, application forms will be available from Yvonne Ranson.

Carnival Procession

The Winners

Youngsters: 1st Eaton Bray Brownies

1st Eaton Bray Brownies

Youth: Eaton Bray Lower School

Eaton Bray Lower School

Organisations and Business: GIFT


Best Dressed Houses

It has become a tradition for houses on the procession route, to be decorated to the Carnival theme (this year - 'Circus'). This is great for the community spirit of the villages, from the youngest to the oldest.


Prizes were awarded for one house in Eaton Bray and one in Edlesborough on the route of the procession as follows:

Eaton Bray: 6 Moor End

Eaton Bray: 6 Moor End

Edlesborough: 14 Pebblemoor

Edlesborough: 14 Pebblemoor

Prizes for this year's winners were generously donated by the Leighton Buzzard Observer, for the best dress houses in each of Eaton Bray and Edlesborough.

Worm Charming

Worm Charming, Eaton Bray 2003On Saturday 5th July 1980 local farmer's son, Tom Shufflebotham amazed a disbelieving world by charming a total of 511 worms out of the ground in half an hour at the first Worm Charming event in Willaston, Chesire to raise money for a School Fete.

23 years to the day after this astonishing feat St Mary's Village Carnival had great fun recreating the event on the Green, one which looks set to become an annual event at the Carnival!

This year's winner was Stacey Loczy from Dunstable!

Worm Charming, Eaton Bray 2003

Worm Charming, Eaton Bray 2003

Worm Charming, Eaton Bray 2003

World Worm Charming Competition

The International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP) has held the World Worm Charming Competition at Willaston County Primary School, Willaston, Nantwich, Cheshire since 1980.

Their website includes pictures and results from this year's championship along with a Roll of Honour for the past years.

The Rules

  1. © IFCWAP 2002Each competitor to operate in a 3 x 3 metre plot.
  2. Lots to be drawn to allocate plots.
  3. Duration of competition to be 15 minutes, starting at about 4pm.
  4. Worms may not be dug from the ground. Vibrations only to be used.
  5. No drugs to be used! Water is considered to be a drug/stimulant.
  6. Any form of music may be used to charm the worms out of the earth.
  7. A garden fork of normal type may be stuck into the ground and vibrated by any manual means to encourage worms to the surface.
  8. Garden forks to be suitably covered to prevent possible injury when being transported to and from the competition. No accidents please!
  9. Each competitor to place his/her fork in allocated plot at 3.55. Forks to be kept in cars prior to that time.
  10. A piece of wood, smooth or notched may be used to strike or 'fiddle' the handle of the garden fork to assist vibration.
  11. Competitors who do not wish to handle worms may appoint a second to do so. The second shall be known as a 'Gillie'.
  12. Each competitor may collect worms from his/her own plot only.
  13. Worms to be handled carefully and collected in damp peat and placed in a suitable, named container provided by the organising committee.
  14. An announcement will be made about five minutes before the start of the competition.
  15. Competitors to keep clear of competition plots until given the instruction "Get to your Plots".
  16. The competitor who 'charms' the most worms to be the winner.
  17. In the event of a tie, the winner to be decided by a further two minutes charming.
  18. Charmed worms to be released after the birds have gone to roost on the evening of the event.

It may help to know that the most successful method used so far is that of hand vibrating a four tyne garden fork inserted approximately 15 cms into the turf.

© IFCWAP 2002 If you wish to sing to the worms potentially good tunes are:

  • Good Vibrations,
  • Rhythm of the falling rain,
  • Flowers in the rain,
  • The green, green grass of home,
  • Handel's Water Music,
  • Raindrops keep falling on my head etc.

Grand Draw

Every year I become more and more amazed at the increase in the takings on the Grand Draw, and at people's incredible generosity. Thank you to all those people to gave their time and energy to sell so many tickets, and thank you, of course to those who bought them!

My grateful thanks again to my 'team' at the fete - Norman, Dee, Mark, Ashley and Eliie.

Ann Lee

First Prize: A Luxury Weekend for two in Rome

Luxury Weekend for two in RomeIncludes:

  • Two nights bed and breakfast at the four star Hotel Quirinale
  • Return flights from London Stanstead airport with easyJet
  • Transport from Rome airport to Hotel Quirinale
  • Dinner for two(up to EUR100)at Ristorante Fortunato, close to The Pantheon on either the Friday or Saturday night.

The Winners

The winners of this year's Grand Draw prizes are as follows;

Weekend In Rome easyJet and Hotel Quirinale Elizabeth Ryder, Cheddington
Visit To Houses Of Parliament Andrew Selous M.P. Tim Woodley, Stanbridge
Day's Fly Fishing At Bellows Mill Rachael Hodge Mrs. Tompkins, Eaton Bray
Case Of Wine Peter and Eileen Bennett David McVicar, Dunstable
Christmas Turkey Icknield Way Farm Rosemary Allen, Eaton Bray
Ornamental Tree Brian McMahon, Grass Roots Jim Ransom, Eaton Bray
Whipsnade Tickets Whipsnade Zoo Mr. Johnstone, Dagnall
Meal Voucher The White Horse Mr. Dennis, Eaton Bray
Glider Flight London Gliding Club Claire Freeman, Northall
Homemade Chocolates Rumseys Of Aylesbury Eileen Jackson, Edlesborough
Meat Voucher Hines & Co Mrs Sturmer, Northall
Taste And Try Tickets T.Harper & Son, Studham Mrs. Greenfield, Little Gaddesden
Greetings Cards Sally Tayor, Phoenix Trading Christine Woodley, Stanbridge
Hairdressing Voucher Gary's Hair Fashions Andy White, Eaton Bray
Theatre Tickets Leighton Buzzard Theatre Ms. Owen, Norwich
Hairdressing Voucher Profile Hairdressing Jane Cross, Dunstable
Meal For Two The Swan, Northall Sue Pratt, Northall
Cinema Tickets The Odeon, Hemel Hempsted Pieter Le Roux, Northall
Meal For Two The Bell, Edlesborough Amanda Carter, Milton Keynes
Bowling Tickets Dunstable Bowling Centre Graham Chappell, Edlesborough
Farm Tickets Mead Open Farm Sue Parker, Edlesborough
Animal Away Weekend Illustria Kennels Alison Say, c/o Edlesborough
Load Of Manure Tom Thorne Roz Heffer, Edlesborough