Weymouth Carnival - resort's big day

Andy Abraham crowning the carnival queen Elysia Munday. Below, with Elysia again and carnival princesses Gina Hartley and Hannah Derrick

WE’RE GOING TO THE CHAPEL: Just Married, Marina and Aussie Knight during the 2010 carnival

STEEPED IN HISTORY: The Woolworths Float, Weymouth Carnival 1964

First published in Nostalgia Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

TOMORROW is one of Weymouth’s biggest days of the year.

People are invited to come and join the party at Weymouth Carnival and take in the delights of seafront stalls, the Red Arrows, aircraft displays, and of course the Grand Procession of floats.

As we look forward to Weymouth Carnival 2014, Looking Back is reminiscing about carnivals of yesteryear.

Thanks go to Looking Back reader Hilary Edgar, who has submitted a photo of the Woolworths Carnival Float from Weymouth Carnival in 1964.

Hilary Bower, as she was at the time, is pictured on the right with blonde hair.

The float features some glamorous looking bunny girls.

It looks like a good time was had on the day because the sun was shining and the ‘bunnies’ even have their own mobile bar on the float.

Hilary is trying to name the other people who are in the photo and would love to get in touch with them and share memories.

The information she has so far is that there is a woman behind her in the photo called Beryl, next to her is Maureen, nee Gray.

The man with his back to the camera is a Mr Woodhouse while the person standing on the left is Rita Summers.

Hilary said: “I would be very grateful if any of the other bunny girls who I have forgotten could get in touch with me.

“We had a brilliant day and we loved everything about it.

“Also we won first prize!”

Anyone who knows the names of the ‘bunny girls’ or the man on the float should get in touch with Hilary by calling 01305 820488.

Another Weymouth Carnival memory comes from 1958.

The resort saw a gesture of Anglo-American friendship on Carnival Day August 27 when the 42-piece Band of the United States Third Air Force led the carnival procession and later gave a display on the Recreation Ground.

The band was presented with a silver tablet inlaid in the centre, recording the townspeople's appreciation of its contribution to Anglo-American friendship.

The presentation took place at the D-Day Memorial, which commemorates the embarkation of 517,816 American troops and 144,093 vehicles from WeymouthWeymouth and Portland for the assault on France.

In 1983 Weymouth Carnival set a new cash record.

With takings £6,000 up on last year, the official count stood at £55,185 gross compared with the 1982 final gross figure of £49, 056.

More recently, 2012 saw Olympic celebrations at Weymouth Carnival in honour of Weymouth and Portland hosting the sailing events of London 2012.

Members of the Team GB sailing squad paraded through the town just before the carnival procession.

The sailors, clutching their medals, travelled on an open top bus waving at the crowds as they went.

Weymouth Carnival 2012 chairman Roger Hogbin said the inclusion of the Olympic parade was ‘absolutely fantastic’.

He added: “This has been a year when we’ve celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

“There’s a great atmosphere in the town and excitement is building.

“We’re carrying on the party.”

Appearing in Weymouth Pavilion’s 2012 Pantomime, X-Factor star Andy Abraham launched the carnival from the balcony of the New Vic and then crowned the carnival queen.

In 2010 Weymouth Carnival was special for one couple when a bride-to-be surprised her fiancé with an early wedding.

Dressed as a Mad Hatter, Dave Foster was whisked to the town’s Guildhall on the back of an Alice in Boogie Wonderland-themed carnival float – two days ahead of the ceremony he was expecting.

Once he had recovered from his shock, Dave – known as Aussie – married his White Queen at the register office in front of a close group of costumed-clad family and friends.

Bride Marina Knight, of Chickerell, said: “I’d been planning it for four months.

“Aussie’s always wanted to get married on Carnival Day but I’ve always said no and then I decided: ‘Let’s do it for him.’ “Everyone kept it a secret from him. We like to do fun things and this was something out of the normal.”

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree