18,000 enjoy town's carnival

By Danielle NuttallMOCK cars, Postman Pat and dancing sailors from the Titanic were among the colourful floats on parade as a town celebrated its annual carnival.

By Danielle Nuttall

MOCK cars, Postman Pat and dancing sailors from the Titanic were among the colourful floats on parade as a town celebrated its annual carnival.

A line of trailers more than half-a-mile long, decorated under the theme of transport, snaked their way through the streets of Stowmarket on Saturday - one of the longest carnival processions the town has seen.

The scorching summer temperatures ensured a crowd of at least 6,000 turned up along the roadside for a glimpse of the stunning show.

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More than 12,000 people also gathered at the recreation ground at the culmination of the procession, where a packed programme of events awaited them.

Colin Flack, deputy chairman of the carnival committee, said: "Last year we nearly got washed out and we were thinking of bringing canoes and this year we got heat and blisters.

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"Up to this stage we've had no problems or trouble and the weather has certainly helped. Apart from the committee's fatigue, it has been excellent. All the floats made a terrific effort and really the judges struggled to find a winner."

The procession began at PPG car park in Combs Ford and travelled through Stowmarket before arriving at the recreational ground.

The Cara-Lee School of Dancing won both the youth and overall trophies for its Titanic-themed float, which involved scores of dancers dressed as sailors.

Haughley Crawford Primary School created a huge mock car in which the children all sat, which won second prize in the youth float category, while Legends Kindergarten came first in the trade section.

Dagworth and District Gentleman's Cycling Society transformed their bikes into trains and came away with the top prize in the small vehicle category, while the Oscar Foxtrot Theatre Company were winners of the adult float. Braintree won the best Queen award and Brightlingsea won best visiting float.

The carnival day continued on the recreation ground until 8.30pm and visitors were treated to three motorbike displays, a funfair and numerous other attractions.

Organisers said the money raised would be distributed to local charities - but they warned if future carnivals were to take place, more volunteers needed to join the committee.

"We are grateful for all the help on the day, but the biggest area we do need help is people on the committee," said Mr Flack.

"A lot of the committee are involved in business and it's a lot of extra pressure on them so the more we can spread the load, the better."

Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact Mark Cook on 07836 289376.


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