Thanks to Andee Major for her photos and memories.
Leaside’s Memories of entering Harpenden Carnival.
We are a local women’s club meeting in Batford and in 1981 we decided we would like to take part in the carnival. We had just finished a drama festival organised by our local association in St. Albans, our entry was American themed. As we didn’t have access, at that time to a lorry for a float, we decided to walk up the high street. We were all American cheerleaders. At that time in our lives we were all in our early 30’s. We had so much fun doing it we decided the following year we would enter a proper float.
In 1982 we decided we would enter another float, this time we managed to find a lorry for the float and one of our club members lived at Mackyre End Farm and her husband Rob worked there. We were able to assemble the float on the Saturday before the carnival the next day with a lot of help from him.
I think the theme was something to do with the races. Our members made load of paper flowers to dress the float with and members dressed up as jockeys. Come the Sunday morning the heavens opened and the paper flowers were destroyed. This didn’t put us off and we thought hard and long for the next year.
In 1983 I think it is was a circus theme. We used a tarpuline to represent the big top. We included our children as well on this float as clowns and some as animals that you would of seen at a circus. The bunting around the sides of the lorry was made from fertilizer bags.
We have been lucky over these years as we had a couple of our members who could translate the themes and design our floats for us.
In 1984 it was the Goose Fair. Once again Rob came to our rescue and built the float to our lady’s design. We had chickens in a pen behind the cab of the lorry and a witches stake. Some of our children took part as well. The Medieval ladies were at the rear of the float. On arriving at the park and and doing a turn around the arena we awaited the judges. We won our category.
1985 our float this year was St. George and the Dragon. Once again Rob came up trumps with the basic outline for the dragon. All the club members assembled the scales made from paper plates covered with fertilier bags. The whole thing was assembled on the Saturday before the Sunday carnival. We won our category that year.
1986 was the theme to celebrate the Queens 60thy Birthday. We decided to have two trailers, one depicting our Queen with a big birthday cake and the other one previous Kings and Queens of England. Most of us were not happy with this one but low and behold we won our category again.
1987 I think was a Disney theme and our float was Peter Pan. Once again Rob bilt the basic outline for us and we decorated it. All the girls made their costumes. This year we came 2nd.
1988 Not sure of the theme for this one as we did Sleeping Beauty. The photo shows it all.
1989 This was our last entry and based on the St. Trinians. One of our favourites and all the members had great fun on this one.
In all the years we entered the carnival we had the most enormous fun, from assembling the floats on the Saturday, to travelling from Mackeyre Farm on the float on the Sunday to Townsend Lane to wait for the procession to start. All thy costumes were sourced from charity shops and adapted or made from scratch, our children took part where possible.
We look fondly on our photos and of the fun times we had taking part in the Carnival