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Rain fails to take shine off carnival

PUBLISHED: 08:50 22 August 2006 | UPDATED: 17:00 25 February 2010

THOUSANDS of people refused to let a torrential downpour dampen the spirits at a seaside town's annual carnival.

Aldeburgh was briefly swamped with rain, but the sun shone as carnival queen, Jade Miller, 25, led the colourful and noisy parade of floats through the town yesterday.

THOUSANDS of people refused to let a torrential downpour dampen the spirits at a seaside town's annual carnival.

Aldeburgh was briefly swamped with rain, but the sun shone as carnival queen, Jade Miller, 25, led the colourful and noisy parade of floats through the town yesterday.

She was attended by Ruby Chapman, Christina Turnbull-Buzzard and Ellie Doubleday and the carnival organisers breathed a sigh of relief that the sun had appeared to round off the three-day Olde Marine Regatta and Carnival on a bright note.

The town was packed for the carnival procession, and the High Street was shrouded in artificial snow pumped out from one float and the old buildings reverberated to the stirring sounds of the Band of the Welsh Guards and the Suffolk School of Samba.

More sedate sounds came from the clicking of women's heels in the Knots of May and Kempsmen. The Arabian Fantasy Belly Dancers brought some Far Eastern mystic to the parade with their costumes and dance routines.

Topical issues including the closure of beds at Aldeburgh Hospital, rising North Sea levels and the possibility of a Sizewell C power station were covered by some entrants in the parade.

The procession was given a fine send-off by Sam Wright, the newly-appointed town crier and sergeant at mace for Aldeburgh.

He is only 15 years old but the Leiston High School pupil stands six foot four inches tall and his towering figure and booming voice made him stand out from the crowd.

Sam was put forward by his grandmother Elizabeth Donovan, of Lee Road, Aldeburgh, for the position and he said: ''It's fantastic and I am proud to be carrying on such a great tradition here.''

Lindsay Lee, town clerk, said: ''Sam was very keen to do the job and I think this is the start of a new era with someone so young.''

The carnival had also included swimming races, demonstrations by the life boat crews and an exhibition of vintage cars.

And Aldeburgh was lit up last night when residents and visitors carried Chinese lanterns through the town and a £3,000-plus firework display was put on.

Celia Leggett, mayor, said: ''The weather has been a bit on and off but it has not stopped anything happening.

''We had a couple of showers during the mini marathon, the children's races and the Songs of Praise, and then the deluge before the procession. But at the last minute it stopped. Sometimes the rain brings out the best in people and adds to the fun.''

She added: ''The work of the carnival committee is just incredible and I do not think people appreciate how much work they do.''

n Carnival results: Tiny Tots fancy dress, Katie and Lucy Bown with Clowning Around; Up to four pedestrians in fancy dress, Pope family with Alice in Wonderland; Decorated cars, The Gaggle with The Bugs; Between five and 10 pedestrians in fancy dress, The Bromage family with Books r us; Decorated cars with trailers of small pick-ups, Cuddigan/Thompson/Clarke/Mallinson with Noah's Ark 2020; Over 10 pedestrians in fancy dress, Wardens' Weekenders with Band; Fancy dress on wheels, Patricia Maddocks plus seven with Aldeburgh Veterans Football Club World Cup 2010; Tableaux, Ughburgh Carnivoral 1million years BC.

Swimming results: Girls' under 14 swimming 50 yards, Phillipa Guy; swimming 200 yards, Teddy Groves; Swimming 220 yards, David Cook;

Decorated Premises: Businesses, Ipswich Building Society, High Street; Shops, Barry Shooter Pharmacy, High Street; Houses up to 15ft frontage, Gathrop and Kendall, High Street; Houses over 15ft frontage, The Gammons, High Street.

Egg Boat Race, winner Tony Plessner; Innovative design winner, David Wedge; Sarah, Clar and Betty; Mini Marathon winner, David Miller; first lady, Hanny Shelly; first junior under 14, Bertie Shelley.

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