Information about St Mary's Village Carnival held every year on Edlesborough Green with Carnival Procession starting in Eaton Bray
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Carnival 2012 - Kings & Queens

Kings & Queens

7th July 2012

Natasha Balletta is a local photographer who kindly agreed to photograph the 2012 Carnival. See the Photos section below for her photos from the day.

Natasha Balletta is a local photographer who kindly agreed to photograph the 2012 Carnival.
See the Photos section below for her photos from the day.

How did it go?

"Severe flood warnings have been issued in the north and east of England, the Midlands and much of Wales, with non-stop torrential rain expected for the next 24 hours and into Saturday in what forecasters are predicting could be the most serious weather conditions yet this year." So said the doom merchants 24 hours before this year's Carnival. 60 flood warnings and nearly 160 flood alerts had been issued for the UK for Carnival weekend with up to 40mm of rain expected in some parts of the country. Not surprising, then, that the Organising Committee had to review their wet weather plans with the Parish Council.

But, miraculously, the rain stopped late on Friday afternoon and it stayed dry through the night and, thanks to its excellent drainage properties,  when we got onto the Green the next morning we able to drive cars and lorries onto the Green without apparent damage. So, while many parts of the rest of the country were underwater, St Mary's Village Carnival got on with doing what it does best and by late morning the Green was filled with the colour of the Carnival.

Natasha Balletta PhotographyThat colour was echoed at The Orchards where one of the best parades we have seen for some time was forming up. Ben and Jane Wright had a really difficult task selecting winners - they were all winners, though the official results are below.

And, in the villages, hours of effort had gone in to decorating the houses; Eaton Bray appeared particularly colourful. The awards, this year, went to 9 High St, Eaton Bray and 23 The Green, Edlesborough.

Who could have expected that soon after the start of the procession about ½ inch of rain would fall in about 20 minutes? The Carnival Queen and her retinue in their open topped car were soon drenched and sitting in water but after the initial shock the parade was quickly back in full swing. To the disappointment of many of those waiting on the Green, a sensible decision was taken by the organisers not to allow the lorries onto the field and it was not long before Ben and Jane Wright were able to declare the Carnival 'Open'.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped by the time the procession reached the Green and it remained dry in Edlesborough until late in the evening, despite frequent rain showers throughout the afternoon in Eaton Bray. As a result the crowds came out and we had the sort of splendid Carnival afternoon that everyone has come to expect. Magic Dave, as usual, entertained the youngsters and the new event, the Carnival Games, was won, on a deciding race by the cubs. Hopefully, this will become a regular feature of carnival in future years and maybe we will have more teams next year.

As for the big prizes, the trip to Rome was won by Georgina Banks; no doubt she will have a wonderful time at the Quirinale Hotel. Dan Cordell's lovely 'Chainsaw sculpture' was won by a delighted Deborah Calder.

So, the 2012 Carnival was memorable, not just for the short but violent downpour, but for all the right reasons. The day passed peacefully, equipment was put away dry for another year, the Green was left in good order and, as a result of the efforts of an outstanding Organising Committee, many village organisations and good causes will be better off.

Finally three key messages:

  • If your organisation can benefit from a donation from the proceeds of this year's Carnival please contact Gordon Gray.
  • If you feel you have something to offer the Carnival Committee and would like to be part of this success story, do contact Gordon, as above.
  • Next year's Carnival will be on Saturday 6th July 2013 when the theme will be Sci Fi. Plenty of scope for robots, aliens, Star Trek, monsters, rockets, light sabres, Dr Who, etc.


Photos by Natasha Balletta and Kathy & Roy Ellison

Photos coming back soon


Grand Draw

  • Weekend for two in Rome - Georgina Banks
  • Visit to Houses of Parliament - B Basham
  • A night in the Bristol Marriott Hotel - Gaye Soule
  • Glider flight - Brian Wyke
  • Romantic night at Bellows Mill - Marjorie Mann
  • A massage at St Judes - Liz
  • A round of golf at Dunstable Downs Golf Course - Mrs Dyson
  • Admission to four Royal Palaces - Ann Eaton

Chainsaw Carving

  • Deborah Calder

Best dressed houses

  • Eaton Bray - 9 High Street
  • Edlesborough - 23 The Green


  • Young peoples' organisations:
    • 1st: Edlesborough Under 5s
    • 2nd: Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Scouts
    • 3rd: Street Art
  • Schools:
    • 1st: Eaton Bray Academy
    • 2nd: Edlesborough School
    • 3rd: Totternhoe Lower School
  • Other organisations:
    • 1st: GIFT
    • 2nd: Janes
    • 3rd: Eaton Bray Lions

Distribution of Funds

The Carnival Committee has a well publicised formula for the distribution of funds from the Carnival:

  • 50% to St Mary's Fabric Fund
  • 25% to a principal charity - this year 'The Chemotherapy Unit at Luton & Dunstable Hospital'.
  • 25% distributed among local (or locally connected) good causes, in line with commitments resulting from the Carnival or as requested by people in the villages.

A meeting took place on 10 September to propose a distribution and the proposal was ratified by St Mary's PCC the same week:

St Mary's Fabric Fund £6,250.00
Chemotherapy Unit, L&D Hospital £3,125.00
1st E Bray & Edlesborough Scout Group £100.00
Air Cadets (L Buzzard) £25.00
Cheeky Monkeys £100.00
Dagnall School £125.00
Dagnall Village hall £100.00
DILS Tower Breakfast and After School Club £25.00
Downs Heart Group £100.00
Dunstable Scouts £100.00
Eaton Bray Methodist Church £75.00
Eaton Bray Parish Council £100.00
Eaton Bray Village Hall £100.00
EB Academy £125.00
EB Cricket Club £100.00
EB Lions FC £125.00
EDaN £100.00
Edlesborough Cricket Club £50.00
Edlesborough Parish Council £100.00
Edlesborough School £125.00
Expedition - Alex Mustoe £100.00
Expedition - Charlotte Nilsen £100.00
Expedition - Hannah McCloskey £100.00
Expedition - Scott Mercer £100.00
Lionheart Explorer Group £100.00
Orbit £100.00
Police Charity Fund - Beds £100.00
Police Charity Fund - Thames Valley £100.00
St John's Ambulance £325.00
Taskers Row Social Club £100.00
The Friends Of The Church On The Hill £100.00
Toddington Band £125.00

Carnival Queen

The draw to select this year's Carnival Queen and retinue took place on Sunday 15 April, in Eaton Bray Village Hall.

This year's Carnival Queen is Holly Watkin

The Carnival Princess is Lily Walsh

The two Attendants are: Heather Kerr and Bryony Sweeby

Photos coming back soon

The Carnival Committee is grateful to:

  • Buds of May. Edlesborough
  • High Street Hair, Eaton Bray

both of whom are generous in their support of the selection and dressing of the Carnival Queen and her retinue. Please be generous in your support for these businesses.

Eligible girls were those who live in Dagnall, Eaton Bray, Edlesborough or Northall or who are regular attendees at St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray.

News Articles

Please see Carnival 2012: Kings & Queens on the Eaton Bray news website for articles relating to this Carnival.