Video/Gallery: Crowds line town’s streets for carnival procession

Aldeburgh Carnival procession. Aldeburgh High Street.

Aldeburgh Carnival procession. Aldeburgh High Street. - Credit: Archant

Crowds delighted in the infectious party atmosphere of a seaside town’s famous annual carnival.

Aldeburgh once again radiated colour and resounded with noise as a weekend of fun reached its height.

The 71st outing of an ever-popular event saw crowds of thousands line the streets in anticipation of the carnival procession.

Mayor Sara Fox ushered in proceedings by crowning this year’s Carnival Queen Hannah Osborne, joined by attendants Bonnie Butterworth, Ellie Philpot and Matilda Salter.

The mayor also presented a gift of appreciation on the steps of Moot Hall for 45 years of service to the Aldeburgh Carnival Committee by honorary secretary Judy Gowen, who has seen the event grow from a one-day event into the three-day festival now celebrated each summer.

Commemorating her “enterprise, ideas and innovations” the unexpected gift was revealed to be a specially painted, framed montage of Mrs Gowen preparing for a previous procession, and a card signed by committee members.

She said: “This has come as a complete surprise to me. I had no idea it has been 45 years.

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“It has all been a great deal of fun. The people of Aldeburgh should be very proud of our carnival.

“The committee works incredibly hard, but we have an awful lot of fun as well.”

Yesterday’s activities began with swimming and children’s races, followed by the launch of Aldeburgh’s all-weather lifeboat, before the main procession, carnival, lantern procession and fireworks display in the evening.

Among the main procession floats this year was a carnival first, created by Leiston’s Long Shop Museum and the Leiston Works Railway.

A team of volunteers made a replica of the Jane, one of two schooners in which Richard Garrett took all his Leiston workforce and their families by sea from Slaughden Quay to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, where Garretts was one of the major exhibitors.

The carnival schooner was dressed with accurate marine flags spelling out details of the voyage.

Away from the procession, there was a record field of 295 entrants in Sunday’s mini marathon. The egg boat race was especially popular and crowds of visitors and locals enjoyed Songs of Praise with the Ipswich Salvation Army band, the Carnival Village stalls also on Moot Hall Green, and attractions throughout the town.

Addressing the crowd gathered at Moot Hall yesterday, the mayor concluded: “I am very grateful indeed to the many people whose interest and enthusiasm make it possible for this event to be continued year by year.

“It is teamwork and many, many hours of time given voluntarily that enable the carnival to happen.”