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Carnival joy – at last!

Saint George came to the rescue of Bognor Regis Carnival.


The patron saint of England lived up to his reputation with the winning float in the re-arranged community parade.


His mail chain costume with his distinctive red cross was one of a dozen on the best display in Sunday’s re-arranged procession.


Heraldic shields surrounded the float. A castle and a set of stocks also added to the historic scene. It was also judged the most colourful entry.


The effort put into the display by the Chestnuts Day Centre, based on the Medieval Mayhem theme, justified the decision of organisers to hastily stage the event after strong winds caused its original date to scrapped.


Carole Hillier, who was St George, said: “This is the second year in a row we have won the best senior float prize and I hope we will be back next year.


“It’s been worth taking part today. We had everything ready for the original parade and we just had to put it to one side.


“It’s been so much fun and we are also promoting dementia – we are a dementia day centre – and that is so important.”


She thanked all those who had helped during two months to create the display.


The Chestnuts’ float was one of three among the ten entries which travelled from the eastern end of The Esplanade to West Park.


The pavements were lined with spectators on a day when the 10mph south-east wind and cloudy sky contrasted with the 40mph gales and sunny conditions of the original date of June 8. It was the fifth carnival to be held by the current organisers.


Sarah Boote-Cook, who chairs the Bognor Regis Carnival Association, said: “It was a good event. It was smaller than usual but Bognor Regis still turned out to support us.


“It was definitely worth putting the parade on and the extra effort involved. When we cancelled the carnival, everyone said they were disappointed.


“We’ve put it back on and they have supported us. It’s more than we could have wished for.”


The parade was led by the TS Sturdy band of the Nautical Training Corps and a mixture of walking and lorry entries followed.


The overall prize and the mixed category winners were the Pink Pub to Pegasus Bridge riders who turned out in their Home Guard uniforms and their wartime cycles. One of them, Alastair Smyth, said: “It’s fantastic to win the prize and it is another £250 in the pot for our charities.


“It was great to be here and what we have done has definitely brought the community together.”


The winning walking entry was Gabrielle Boote-Cooke as the medieval Lady Gabrielle with her servant, lady in waiting and her knight on his hoverboard which doubled as his trusty steed.


Her brother, Felix Boote-Cook, said: “The carnival was definitely something that needed to be put on. So many people had put so much effort in.


“People have been so happy to see it. There have been a lot of them watching.”


The full list of winners was:


Overall -Pink Pub; Juvenile – The Regis School; Senior – Chestnuts Day Centre; Walking – Gabrielle Boote-Cook; Mixed – Pink Pub, 2 – St Wilfrid’s Church; Trade – Herbalife Nutrition, 2 – LuvSweeties; Most Colourful Float (Erik Jack Cup) – St Wilfrid’s Church.


Next year’s carnival will be on June 13.


St Wilfrid’s Church’s prize-winning display | Pic: Neil Cooper

Posted in Family Fun, News.