Rain fails to dampen spirits at Dunmow’s annual carnival
- Credit: Archant
It was laughter in the rain and princesses in plastic ponchos as the rain ran from dismal drizzle to torrential torrents.
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.
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.
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.
The first “walking bicycle” was there. Dating from 1818, it had no pedals, people scooted along sitting between two wheels.
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.
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.
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Spokesman David Beedle said people left during the rain but came back again later.
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.
Two businesses shared the prize in this year’s shop window competition, which runs alongside the Dunmow Carnival.
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.