Carnival comeback

PUBLISHED: 15:12 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 July 2010

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the streets of Swanton Morley were filled with carnival floats for a the launch of the week long village festival on Saturday.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the streets of Swanton Morley were filled with carnival floats for a the launch of the week long village festival on Saturday.

A bid to help raise badly needed funds to keep a village hall running meant the revival of the village's carnival, last held in 1988 according to organisers - although there was a millennium parade.

But despite being put on as a fundraiser, the event, at the village hall field, was more of a celebration - complete with carnival queen Rebecca Booth, 14, fair ground ride, bar, cream teas and more - the rain held off until later in the day.

Unfortunately the woman behind the event, Gina Eames, could not make it after an injury.

But villager Alan Smith said she had done all the hard work to make the day what it was.

“I think it has gone really well. We're pleased with the floats we got. It's nice to see the village pulling together, everyone has been involved and supported it, all the groups who use the hall.

“It is all for the village hall. They need the funds. Gina, who is chairman of the fundraising committee, organised it all.”

Cash is needed to help towards the £16,000 a year running costs of the hall, not covered by income, and it is thought it will need a new roof, although it was built in 1996.

A special festival booklet funded by advertisers helped cover most of the costs of the carnival and festival, which has been going on all week and ends on Sunday, and meant that any money raised by events and the carnival will all go towards the hall.

Swanton Morley WI group provided delicious cream teas in the village hall, with funds going to the hall, and there were plenty of other treats to keep people entertained.

The queen's attendant was fellow Northgate High School pupil Lucy Hall, 15.

And in true tradition there were prizes for the best floats which had made the journey through the village from Bennett Road past Darby's to the village hall field.

Noah's Ark, by a nursery group on Robertson's Braracks, came first, Roeder's Rejects, by villagers, came second and the Swanton Morley under 5s float came third.

Swanton Morley garden club and the carnival queen floats were highly commended.

It is hoped the event will spark a revival of carnival parades in the village.

Tonight there is indoor bowls at the village hall and on Saturday and Sunday there is a tractor weekend on the field.

There will be tractors, steam engines, vintage cars and motorbikes, bygones, Suffolk punch horses, a dog display, horse rides and evening entertainment with Danny Platton from 7pm.

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