Sudbury: Ex-majorettes heed carnival call

Majorettes from the 1970s and 80s are to reform for the Sudbury Carnival this year.

Majorettes from the 1970s and 80s are to reform for the Sudbury Carnival this year. - Credit: Gregg Brown

When the marching band and majorettes take their place at the front of Sudbury’s carnival procession next weekend, it will be as if the clock has been turned back more than 30 years.

What started out as the crazy idea of two nostalgic local women is poised to turn into reality, as 105 former marchers and musicians come together to twirl their baton, beat their drums and recreate their routines of the 1970s and 80s for one last time.

Sharron Thomas and Donna Dix – both Sudbury majorettes during those decades – first put out an appeal on Facebook when they heard about the bid to revive the town’s carnival this summer after a break of more than 20 years.

Ms Thomas said: “We were really just curious about what had happened to fellow majorettes who used to take part in the event.

“But within a day, more than 180 people had got in touch, and around 60 signed up to take part in the procession on August 24. Amazingly, now we have a total of 105 including band members and majorettes – the response has been overwhelming.

“We even have one woman who is coming all the way from Abu Dhabi just to take part!”

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, the majorettes have had T-shirts printed up for the event to replace their former “short skirts”.

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Ms Thomas said: “There was a lot of rivalry between the various troops during our heyday and it’s funny to see that some of that still exists – even though most of us are in our 40s and 50s.

“It has been a lot of hard work training around three times a week, but it will be worth it to see it all come together on carnival day.”

The hour-and-a-half parade will leave from Delphi in Newton Road at 12.30pm. The majorettes will then give a field performance back at Delphi at 3pm.