HAPPY Carnival week!

I always associate the first week of July with the Basingstoke Carnival. It ran for nearly sixty years from the 1930s up until the last one in 1994.

As a kid, the week always started with the Children's Procession featuring a famous face. Phillip Schofield, Timmy Mallet, Keith Chegwin and Jon Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge were among the celebrities.

Various things used to happen in the Memorial Park between Saturday and Thursday. Thursday was the best day (in my opinion!). The huge Carnival Procession wound its way around the town. The atmosphere was fantastic and the big companies of the time would make a grand effort to win the best floats.

Coins were thrown onto the floats (in the days before health and safety) and sweets and goodies were thrown back into the crowds.

The Saturday finale was also a big night. The Red Arrows, big band displays in the arena and car stunts. This all finished with a huge firework display.

There have been many attempts to resurrect the carnival, but alas times change and I doubt it will return in the format that it once was.

There are more carnival memories on the Basingstoke Memories Facebook page.