Online presence for St Mary's Village Carnival, Eaton Bray, Edlesborough, Northall, Dagnall.
Skip navigation

Carnival 2004 - Fantasy

Looking back at the 2004 Carnival

Peter BennettCarnival day 2004 dawned bright and sunny and so it stayed for all of the morning. The forecasters had warned us that cloud and rain were on the way and I'm afraid they were not wrong.

Carnival morning starts, at 5.30 am when Mark Saccoccio and his team arrive on Edlesborough Green to set out the site. The rest of us tend to roll up an hour or so later in time for the first of many vehicles loaded with the signs, tents, tables, chairs and the hundreds of other items that go to make up the infrastructure of the Carnival. By 8.30 the site is taking shape and Alison Tigg & her registration Team are licking their pencils waiting for the first stall holders to arrive. By 10.30 the arena is up, many of the Classic cars are parked and the Green is beginning to look as if we are going to have a Carnival.

Attention now starts to switch to The Orchards in Eaton Bray where the procession is beginning to be assembled ready for the judging to start at 11.45. By 12.30 the Green is humming and the procession has left Eaton Bray and is wending its way through the decorated street of Eaton Bray and Edlesborough to the Carnival site.

At 1.30 the two halves of the event come together and we are in business - The St Mary's Village Carnival 2004 is under way.

This all sounds so simple but it is the culmination of 10 months of planning and hard work from the Carnival Committee:

  Chris Banks Stalls & Entertainment Co-ordinator
  Kevin Eagling Logistics
  Gordon Gray Procession
  Theo Gray Web site
  Mel Grundy Logistics
  Viv Grundy Church Stalls
  Ann Lee Grand Draw
  Norman Lee Logistics
  David Mann Treasurer
  David Marriage Classic vehicles
  Mark Saccoccio Site
  Brock Shaw Publicity & Arena
  Rebecca Shaw Programme Production & Other Stalls
  Alison Tigg Secretary
  Peter Thomas Promotional Activity & site trouble-shooter

All of these people have done a phenomenal job to make the process appear routine and yet deliver a polished product. Thanks to them all. Incidentally, we are always on the lookout for new committee members - if you are interested please do get in touch with me through the Contact Us link on this website.

Each of these Committee members, of course, has a Team working for them - you all know who you are - without your energies none of this would be possible. Thank you too.

Thanks must also go to all those local businesses that support us so selflessly every year, to the two Parish Councils, the Police, St John Ambulance to those along the procession route who decorate their houses, those who decorated the floats and to all those who supported the local Charitable effort by coming along on the day and spending their hard won cash.

This year, at the time of going to press, we have repeated our success of last year which will enable us to donate in excess of £10,000 to local good causes (see Who will benefit). This is a magnificent achievement made in the face of disappointing weather which caused us to lose at least one of our most popular attractions in the form of the Hot Air Balloon.

Thank you everybody - here's to next year.

Peter Bennett
Chairman - St Mary's Village Carnival Committee



Pictures taken around Edlesborough Green during the Carnival

  • P 01
  • P 02
  • P 03
  • P 04
  • P 05
  • P 06
  • P 07
  • P 08
  • P 09
  • P 10
  • P 11
  • P 12
  • P 13
  • P 14
  • P 15
  • P 16
  • P 17
  • P 18

Carnival Queen

  • Fv9
  • Q1
  • Q2
  • Q3

Dressed Houses

Pictures of decorated houses along the procession route

  • P 13
  • P 14
  • P 15
  • P 16
  • P 17
  • P 18


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

  • F 08
  • F 24
  • Fd1
  • Fd2
  • Fv4
  • Fv6
  • Fw1
  • Wc1
  • Wc2
  • Wc3
  • Wc4
  • Wc5
  • Wc6

Carnival Field

Pictures taken around Edlesborough Green during the Carnival

  • F 01
  • F 02
  • F 03
  • F 04
  • F 05
  • F 06
  • F 07
  • F 09
  • F 10
  • F 11
  • F 12
  • F 13
  • F 14
  • F 15
  • F 16
  • F 17
  • F 18
  • F 20
  • F 21
  • F 23
  • F 25
  • F 26
  • F 27
  • F 28
  • Fv1
  • Fv 10
  • Fv2
  • Fv3
  • Fv5
  • Fv7
  • Fv8
  • Fw2

Classic Vehicles

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

  • C 01
  • C 02
  • C 03
  • C 04
  • C 05
  • C 06
  • C 07
  • C 08
  • C 09
  • C 10
  • C 11
  • C 12
  • C 13
  • C 14
  • C 15
  • C 16

Duck Race

Pictures of the Duck Race held 10 July 2004

  • D1
  • D2
  • D3
  • D4
  • D5
  • D6
  • D7
  • D8
  • D9

Who Will Benefit?

With all the problems that we had with the weather the committee feared a less financially successful Carnival this year but the people of the villages proved us wrong. The Carnival made a gross profit of £10,300.

This has been shared out as usual to a large number of organisations and good causes both in the villages and beyond. The disbursement will be:

  • 1st Eaton Bray & Edlesborough Scouts
  • ATC Dunstable
  • Charity nominated by Birds of Bray
  • Dacorum Majorettes
  • Dagnall Church Extension
  • Dagnall School
  • Dagnall Under 5's
  • Dove Counselling Centre
  • Eaton Bray Lions Football Club
  • Eaton Bray Methodists
  • Eaton Bray pre school playgroup
  • Eaton Bray School
  • Eaton Bray Village Hall
  • Eaton Bray Youth Club
  • Edlesborough Cricket Club
  • Edlesborough Parish Council
  • Edlesborough School Tennis Link
  • Florence Nightingale Hospice Aylesbury
  • GIFT
  • Hospice at Home
  • Leader Training
  • Macmillan Cancer Relief
  • Melody Ashman
  • Pasque / Keech Hospice
  • Police Charity Fund - Bedfordshire
  • Police Charity Fund - Thames Valley
  • Saturn Supreme Majorettes
  • Sitting Tall
  • St John Ambulance
  • St Mary's Fabric Fund
  • Tasker's Row Residents Social Club
  • Youth (14 -17) football in the 4 villages

Dr Martyn Jones

Dr Martyn JonesOne of the true bonuses of living in a rural community is that the village Doctor is alive and well in the 21st century. For that and many other reasons I am thrilled that Martyn Jones has agreed to open the Carnival and judge the floats for us this year.

Martyn's association with these villages goes back nearly fifty years, twenty of those as a Doctor. For eight years, indeed, he lived above the shop. Now, of course, he oversees a very impressive custom-built Surgery in Cow Lane, Edlesborough - understandably a project of which Dr Jones is enormously proud.

Since its opening in 1991 the scope of services which the Surgery offers has increased enormously and it now boasts a Pharmacy and a Dental Practice. Dr Jones and his two colleagues tell me they enjoy working in a rural community which enables them to meet their patients in a non-clinical environment.

Dr Jones is married and lives in Edlesborough with his wife Jane and children Nicholas and Anna. His hobbies (when he has the time from his medical duties) are crosswords, squash and watching rugby, indeed, some of you may have had the 'privilege' of encountering Martyn jogging his way around the local lanes putting into practice what he is always urging us, his patients, to do - keeping fit.

On behalf of this community I would like to thank Martyn and his Team for their hard work and wish them and their families every good wish for the future.

-- Peter Bennett

Carnival Queen, Princess & Attendants

The selection of this year's Carnival Queen, Princess and Attendants took place on Sunday 25th April in Eaton Bray Village Hall, with the results as follows;

Queen   Princess
Catherine Allen   Emily Tickell

Gemma Johnson   Harriet Owen

Particular thanks to:

  • Confetti Bridal Wearfor their beautiful dresses
  • Chicks Crop Shopfor doing the girls' hair
  • The Village Flower Shopfor their flowers
  • Honeywick Carriagesfor their transport in the procession
Queen Queen _o
1. Catherine Allen
2. Emily Tickell
3. Gemma Johnson
4. Harriet Owen

Carnival Procession

The winners were as follows.


Dagnall Under 5s

Dagnall Under 5s


Friends of Edlesborough School

Friends of Edlesborough School

Organisations and Business

Hawkes Family

Hawkes Family

Best Dressed House

It has become a tradition for houses on the procession route, to be decorated to the Carnival theme (this year - 'Fantasy'). 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: 103 High Street
Best Dressed House Eaton Bray 2004

Edlesborough: 20 Moor End Close
Best Dressed House Edlesborough 2004

Worm Charming

2004 winnersOn 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!

Worm Charming, Eaton Bray 2004

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. Duration of competition to be 15 minutes
  2. Wormsmay not be dugfrom the ground. Vibrations only to be used.
  3. No drugs to be used! Water is considered to be a drug/stimulant.
  4. Any form of music may be used to charm the worms out of the earth.
  5. A garden fork of normal type may be stuck into the ground and vibrated by any manual means to encourage worms to the surface.
  6. Garden forks to be suitably covered to prevent possible injury when being transported to and from the competition. No accidents please!
  7. Each competitor to place his/her fork in allocated plot at 3.50. Forks to be kept in cars prior to that time.
  8. A piece of wood, smooth or notched may be used to strike or 'fiddle' the handle of the garden fork to assist vibration.
  9. Competitors who do not wish to handle worms may appoint a second to do so. The second shall be known as a 'Gillie'.
  10. Each competitor may collect worms from his/her own plot only.
  11. Worms to be handled carefully and collected in damp peat and placed in a suitable, named container provided by the organising committee.
  12. The competitor who 'charms' the most worms to be the winner. In the event of a tie, the winner to be decided by a further two minutes charming.
  13. 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.

Duck Race

On July 10th 2004, the first Duck Race was held in the parish!

All along the backwater ...

Cor, love a duck. There we were on Saturday 10 July, gathered beside, and in, the River Ouzel between Edlesborough and Eaton Bray all a-dabbling and waiting for the start of the first Duck Race in the parish. The skies opened - it was lovely weather for ducks.

The Duck Board, made up mostly of young people from St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray, had met and planned the event weeks in advance to raise money for Water Aid, a charity supplying drinking water facilities to places in the world that can't take clean drinking water for granted. Hundreds of beautiful, plastic ducks were procured ready to race - no ugly ducklings were used. Each was individually numbered and, despite having no feet, there wasn't a lame duck among them, though, until the start of the race, they were like ducks out of water.

Then they were off, and the River Ouzel was teaming with little yellow bodies all racing towards the finishing line. Being sleek, crispy ducks the race was over in record time - it was, after all, the first race on this course. One duck sank (duck down), one got stuck on the mud (a sitting duck) and one, sadly, passed away (a dead duck). All the ducks were dried (water off a duck's back) ready for their return to their owner.

And the winners were:

Prizes of £66 to Mr Le Roux and Mrs Mosely, prizes of £33 to Mr Bennett and Sam Blumston and prizes of £11.50 to Rosemary Luscombe and Milly Abdullah. No doubt some of the people who didn't win cursed their Ruddy Duck but, thanks to the generosity of everyone who supported the event, Water Aid is expected to benefit by over £500.

Having broken our duck we hope this will become an annual event. Our thanks to the River Authority who made the race possible.

The Race in Pictures

The Course

The Course

The Duck Board

The Duck Board

The Race starts ...

The Race starts ...

... a clear group of leaders ...

... a clear group of leaders ...

... here they come...

... here they come...

... the tension mounts ...

... the tension mounts ...

... 1st ... 2nd ... 3rd

... 1st ... 2nd ... 3rd

The tail enders are herded through

The tail enders are herded through

Grand Draw

Once again my grateful thanks go to all the Sponsors for their donations and continued support for the Grand Draw; to my team, Norman, Deirdrea, Gaynor and Ellie for braving the elements this year and not shutting up 'shop'; to all those people who so willingly(!) sold tickets, and of course to everyone who bought.

Ann Lee

The Winners

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

Weekend In Rome Hotel Quirinale Mr. Darling, Dunstable
Visit To Houses Of Parliament Andrew Selous M.P. Mr. Bateman, Aylesbury
Dinner Bed & Breakfast Hanover International Hotels Mrs. Sharratt,Dunstable
Golf for four Mentmore Golf & Country Club Ian Shaw, Hatfield
Kelly Bronze Turkey Icknield Way Farm Brian Andrews, Eaton Bray
Case Of Wine Peter and Eileen Bennett Wendy Burr
Garden Vouchers Garden Care Services (Dunstable) Ltd Sam Hannaby, Eaton Bray
Fly Fishing at Bellows Mill Mrs. Rachael Hodge Kathryn Clark, Gretton
Chocolate voucher Rumsey's of Aylesbury Chris Deal
Harpers Goody Box T.Harper & Son, Studham Mrs. Toms, Eaton Bray
Ornamental tree Brain McMahon, Grass Roots Nick King, Greenfield
Meal voucher The White Horse Derek Pook, Eaton Bray
Meat voucher D. & E. Hines Barbara Morton
Greetings cards Sally Taylor, Phoenix Cards Ross Bagni, Eaton Bray
Gliding lesson London Gliding Club Sophie Cox, Watford
Hair-do' Gary's Hair Studio Mrs. Edwards, Eaton Bray
Fishing at Watermead David Richards Sheila Banks
Child's season ticket Mead Open Farm Mrs. Wedge, Edlesborough
Hair-do' Profile Hairdressing Lewis Taylor, Eaton Bray
Meal voucher The Swan, Northall Sharon McNeilly
Bowling tickets GoBowling, Dunstable S. Townley
Meal voucher Il Millefiori, Dunstable Miss Martin, Edlesborough

Rome Weekend

The winners of the weekend in Rome have kindly sent us the following...

The Vatican

On 6th November, very early in the morning, my daughter, Jane and I set off for a very excitable weekend in Rome - the first prize in the Eaton Bray carnival draw.

The Trevi FountainAfter a very easy journey from Stanstead we arrived in Rome at 12 noon. Our very comfortable hotel was in the city centre, so after unpacking, we set about sightseeing. The amazing Coliseum and Trevi fountain were within walking distance. Next day we caught a bus to tour other famous landmarks. The most exciting proved to be the Vatican City when the Pope came out to give his weekly blessing. We climbed to the top of St. Peter's to view Rome - Wonderful! I just had to have photograph to prove that I had climbed 400 odd steps to get there. Quite an achievement for a 73 year old!

The ColosseumWe saw so much in such a short time. It was soon Monday, and after some 'retail therapy' we made our way back to the airport and home. It was a wonderful weekend and a most generous first prize.

So thank you so much to the Carnival Committee that organised it. If you are going to the Carnival this year, buy a raffle ticket - you might just be a lucky winner.
-- Ann Tegerdine