Days Gone By - Floating along and enjoying all the fun of Suffolk’s carnivals
From fancy dress to fireworks, what are your carnival memories in Suffolk and north Essex?
Today we are taking a look back at some of these lighthearted annual festivals across the area from the 1970s through to the 1990s.
Sadly, many of these events are now just a memory, while others which are still going strong, like Aldeburgh and Felixstowe Carnivals, have had to be cancelled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Over the decades, though, carnivals have provided endless fun and excitement for people of all ages, as well as raising large sums for good causes.
Colourful costumes are all part of the occasion, and our photo gallery shows participants dressing up as everything from pirates and circus performers to Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men.
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Ipswich Carnival was a hugely popular annual fixture for many years, with hundreds of people turning out to watch the procession, cheering on the colourful floats and marching bands, before joining in the activities at Christchurch Park.
A different theme was set each year, with those taking part enjoying the task of thinking up unusual spins on the idea.
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The 1983 carnival took a floral theme, with many people dressing as flowers, while others decorated their floats in the style of a garden party.
And in 1995 the carnival gained a touch of magic, with staff and pupils from Handford Hall Primary School wearing some spectacular Narnia costumes, in tribute to the classic children’s books by CS Lewis.
Local drama companies also took the opportunity to publicise their shows, with the cast of a production of classic musical Oklahoma taking part in full costume in 1973 (inset left).
Many celebrities and local dignitaries have been special guests at carnivals in years gone by.
Wickham Market carnival hoped to woo a famous guest in 1990, and sent an invitation to then prime minister John Major. But his private secretary replied that he “expects to be out of the country that day and very much regrets that he cannot join you”.
Did you taking part in any of the carnivals featured here, and can you spot yourself or anyone you know in any of the photos? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
To order copies of photos, visit www.eadt.co.uk/myphotos24, or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.