Rain fails to dampen spirits at Dunmow’s annual carnival

PUBLISHED: 17:05 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 19 September 2017

Scene II Theatre School at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Scene II Theatre School at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

It was laughter in the rain and princesses in plastic ponchos as the rain ran from dismal drizzle to torrential torrents.

Dunmow Young Farmers on their float at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Dunmow Young Farmers on their float at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The Angel and Harp pub went as Ancient Romans at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Angel and Harp pub went as Ancient Romans at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

But the downpours did not dampen the spirit of Dunmow’s annual carnival on Saturday, September 16, when 55 floats, three bands and imaginative walking groups processed through the town all waving buckets to collect money for good causes.

A strong man competes in the Rebel Strength Essex Strongman competition. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO A strong man competes in the Rebel Strength Essex Strongman competition. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The Essex Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Essex Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Most of the arena events, including a strongman competition, entertainment on the stage and belly dancing still took place and the fireworks ended the evening. But some of the school children’s displays were cancelled due to the weather.

The Essex Air Training Cadets Corps of Drums on the march at Dunmow Carnival 2017. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Essex Air Training Cadets Corps of Drums on the march at Dunmow Carnival 2017. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Little Monsters Soft Play Centre dressed as dinosaurs, winners of the walkers. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Little Monsters Soft Play Centre dressed as dinosaurs, winners of the walkers. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

This year’s theme was Dunmow Through the Ages. The town’s past was represented from the ancient Romans (The Angel and Harp Pub) to the 1970s (courtesy of Chameleon Costumes). Transport was inventive with the Freedom Day Care Nursery recreating Thomas the Tank to remember the railway line from Bishop’s Stortford to Braintree, and Heather Hobbin from Little Easton with her voluminous Victorian gown decorously draped over the entire horse so she could ride modestly without side-saddle.

Dunmow Velo on their sexcycle - a bike with six seats - at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Dunmow Velo on their sexcycle - a bike with six seats - at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Chameleon Costumes, Molly Maids and Braintree Arts Centre with Tony Ward (Roman), Andy Farrow (Crusader) Glynis Smith (1920s), Esta and Ray Dennis as a WRAC and admiral from the Second World War. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Chameleon Costumes, Molly Maids and Braintree Arts Centre with Tony Ward (Roman), Andy Farrow (Crusader) Glynis Smith (1920s), Esta and Ray Dennis as a WRAC and admiral from the Second World War. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The first “walking bicycle” was there. Dating from 1818, it had no pedals, people scooted along sitting between two wheels.

The Dunmow Pantomime Group with the cast of Aladdin, this year's show with Carrie Craig centre as Wicked Uncle Abanazer at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Dunmow Pantomime Group with the cast of Aladdin, this year's show with Carrie Craig centre as Wicked Uncle Abanazer at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Firefighters and their families collected the pennies in their helmets at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Firefighters and their families collected the pennies in their helmets at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Members of The Essex Pipe and Drum band (no muskets) ranged from 12 to 82. Dunmow’s Carnival Court, Queen Katie Salmon and princesses Elizabeth Salmon, Megan Hunt and Ruby Noble wore stunning midnight blue gowns with matching velvet cloaks and yellow sashes, Dunmow’s ancient colours.

Dunmow Carnival Court, Queen Katie Salmon, Princesses Elizabeth Salmon and Megan Hart and stand-in Ruby Noble. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Dunmow Carnival Court, Queen Katie Salmon, Princesses Elizabeth Salmon and Megan Hart and stand-in Ruby Noble. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Army personnel, young and old with collection buckets. The little boy has medals on too. Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Army personnel, young and old with collection buckets. The little boy has medals on too. Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

There were six categories for prizes. Best commercial walking group was won by Little Monsters dressed as dinosaurs – very early Dunmow. Best decorated float went to Accuro Care Service; best non-commercial walking group went to Heather Hobbin from on her shire horse, Lady Margaret; best youth group float was the Dunmow Atlantis Swimming Club; best youth walking group was Dunmow Pantomime Group; and best visiting court was Clacton.

1st Barnston Brownies dressed as Victorian schoolchildren wave to the crowd at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO 1st Barnston Brownies dressed as Victorian schoolchildren wave to the crowd at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The Accuro Float which won its category. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Accuro Float which won its category. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Spokesman David Beedle said people left during the rain but came back again later.

Faces on a float at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Faces on a float at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Left Laura Cohen from the Flitch Way Action Group with pony Pickle and right Heather Hobin from Little Easton on her shire horse Lady Margaret. Heather won the non-commercial walkers category. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Left Laura Cohen from the Flitch Way Action Group with pony Pickle and right Heather Hobin from Little Easton on her shire horse Lady Margaret. Heather won the non-commercial walkers category. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Charities and community groups from the town have applied for shares of the money raised in the collection buckets waved by all in the procession. This is still being counted but is expected to be around £1,500.

Roman Soldier Tony Ward collecting Denarii at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Roman Soldier Tony Ward collecting Denarii at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The Freedom Day Care Nursery and Pre-School remembered the railway from Bishop's Stortford to Braintree with Thomas the Tank Engine at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Freedom Day Care Nursery and Pre-School remembered the railway from Bishop's Stortford to Braintree with Thomas the Tank Engine at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Two businesses shared the prize in this year’s shop window competition, which runs alongside the Dunmow Carnival.

Collector Ed Knight on his 1818 walking bike, the Curicle. It has no pedals, riders just scoot along. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Collector Ed Knight on his 1818 walking bike, the Curicle. It has no pedals, riders just scoot along. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Hetty King from Pony Park in Felsted with Tippy ridden by Lucas Champness from Sawbridgeworth at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Hetty King from Pony Park in Felsted with Tippy ridden by Lucas Champness from Sawbridgeworth at Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The theme, matching the procession, was Dunmow Through The Ages.

Minnie’s Tea Rooms, with its display Toys Through the Ages, and The Rose Garden’s ‘Duckmow Through The Ages’ – tying in with the village’s famous Doctor’s Pond – took joint first prize.

Carnival Committee spokesman Kerry Prentice said: “The judges found that the entrants showed a sensitivity in incorporating the wares of their shops in their carnival windows.

“If we could award a prize to them all, we would, however, it was a very difficult decision, thus we had to offer a joint first place to Minnie’s Tea Rooms and The Rose Garden.”

Runner-up was The Shopkeepers Store (Luckins) with Dunmow in Wartime with memorabilia including photos of Dunmow during the Second World War.

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