Memories of a real community event
I have just received a Kenilworth Carnival 2012 programme and when I logged onto your website I saw myself in the 1956 Carnival Group. I was saddened to learn that there was a possibility that this could be the last carnival and therefore write to say how much it meant to us way back in the 50s and in some small way perhaps, to encourage everyone to keep it going.
The aim of the carnival in 1956 was to raise money for the Kenilworth T.B. and Comfort Fund (to assist those suffering from tuberculosis) and the Central Hospital League of Friends - £725 was raised (a lot of money in those days).
The carnival brought together the already close-knit community of Kenilworth and it was a source of great excitement, fun and participation.
The community in each street, road or area, entered a float (loaned by local businesses) which took hours to decorate in the chosen tableaus theme. They were accompanied by many humorous walking characters. Crepe paper was used extensively and the main hope was that the day would stay dry. There were five bands and three fire service machines, in all a total of 180 entries.
The carnival, St Nicholas church, the Abbey Fields, the common, the family doctor all played an important part in my life in Kenilworth. I still remember with some trepidation Mr. Bardell (the school attendance officer) riding around the town on his bicycle making his “visits”.
I was born in The Close, christened, confirmed and married in St Nicholas church. I been married for 54 years (I met my husband just before the 1956 Carnival, he was posted to Malaya in 1955). We have sons and grandchildren and have lived and worked in London, Exeter, Singapore, Brighton and now Worthing and although Kenilworth has grown and changed it is still close to my heart.
I shall be joining the ‘Past Queens’ on July 7 and of course being a great aunt to this year’s Queen (Rosy Smith) will make it a very special day. - Pamela French (nee Rhodes).
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Weather for Kenilworth
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North