THE HOTTEST August Bank Holiday in half a century brought record crowds to Ledbury town centre for its annual carnival.

Organisers believed that last year's estimated total of around 10,000 fun seekers was actually exceeded this year, as thousands of people flocked into the market town to cheer on the grand procession, which had the theme, "A Novel Idea".

Carnival committee chairman, Hilary Jones said: "It must have been the hottest day of the year, and it could well have been record crowds, of over 10,000 people.

"The floats were good and people went to a great deal of effort to make them so. I gather that everyone really enjoyed themselves, and the entertainment was good too. When Nice n Sleazy were on, you could not move in the town centre."

The theme of A Novel Idea allowed local people to come up with ideas for book-themed or book-character-themed floats.

There were cheers for a whole range of characters, from the Delphi Charioteer to Robin Hood and his Merry Men; from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the Phantom of the Opera.

The grand procession left the Rugby Club, on the Ross Road, at about noon; but perhaps because of its size, it was not until 1.20pm when it made the turn from the Homend into Orchard Lane, for a final stop at Ledbury Primary School.

Not that anyone minded the wait along the route, thanks to the ultramarine blue skies crossed only by cirrus clouds.

Costumed carnival supporters carried out well-supported bucket collections along the route, and an early figure for how much was raised may be possible by the end of this week , thanks to Tesco which has offered the use of its change-counting machine.

Usually, a collection of around £2000 is considered a good success, towards the total cost of staging the carnival, of around £10,000.

Mrs Jones said the high level of public support for the carnival secures its future; but more help is needed with people willing to help organise the massive event.

She said: "We do need more people to help. We are very thin on the ground and every one of us is doing a lot."

Ledbury Town Carnival is far more than organising a procession.

Entertainment in the town centre this year included music from the Sequins, Nice n Sleazy - playing a selection of R and B, glam rock, blues, rock and lots of 70s classics, and the Ledbury Community Brass Band.

There were also fairground rides and street entertainment from Paper Wizard, Looby Lou and Joey the Juggler.

All pics by Johnny Chan, unless stated otherwise.


The judging results for the Carnival Procession are as follows -

Judging Results

Class 1 - Children’s fancy dress junior

1st Goku Dragonball - Jace Turner

2nd Baby in swallows and amazons - William powers

Class 2 - Children’s fancy dress senior

1st Ledbury librarian - Rory Barry

Class 3 - Adult fancy dress

1st Charles Dickens - Keith Francis

Class 4 - Bicycle pram hand propelled vehicle

1st Cosplay Community

2nd Robin hood then and now - Ledbury archery

Class 5 - Equine

1st war horse - Emma summers + Lydia Hinton

Class 6 - Small Float

1st The Charioteer of Delphi - Weager Family

2nd Mr Men - Pughs

3rd Fantastic Mr Fox - The Park Clan

Class 7 - Large Float

1st Book of Musicals – Ledbury Community Choir

2nd Rotary Story is a Best Seller - Ledbury Rotary Club

3rd Ledbury rugby club

Class 8 - Children’s Float

1st Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Friends of Ledbury Children Centre

2nd The Jolly Postman - Bromsberrow St Marys CE Primary School

3rd Swallows + Amazons - Woodside Lodges Kids

Junior Best Individual - George Allen - Fantastic Mr Fox

Senior Best Individual - Celia the Witch

Overall winner - Book of Musicals – Ledbury Community Choir


The Ledbury Carnival Shop Window results are as follows-

First Prize - Gaynans (for the second year running)

Second Prize - J Mart

Third Prize - Velvet Bean

Highly Commended : Ledbury Books and Mpas, Appliance Solutions, Dragonfly Studio, Three Counties Cider

Commended - Monkleys, Renaissance, Dawe Brothers, Specsavers, Raft

Splendid Effort - Lulu Little Bear, Tanzanite Jewellery, TSB, St Michaels Hospices