I am afraid an error occurred in your reporting of the choosing of this year’s Carnival Queen; Miss Imi Sillito-Tooth is not the 83rd Queen.
The first was Jean Spence in 1928 and a queen was chosen each year up to and including Rosalind Booden in 1940. This is 13 queens to then. The official list of carnivals resumed in 1947 and up to date, including Imi we have another 69 giving a total of 82 occasions a queen has been elected, for our 84 carnivals (they started queen-less in 1926).
The only way a total of 83 queens can be arrived at is to include the occasion we had two, (the original resigned due to leaving the town), or one of several war-time events (in particular 1944), however none of these are included in the ‘official’ listings so are presumably not counted; the latter would also increase our carnival tally to 85 or more.
Whichever way it is calculated, Imi is not our 83rd Carnival Queen, and this is not our 83rd carnival, as claimed on the official website. Incidentally, the website also claims this year as the carnival’s 83rd birthday; starting in 1926, it is in fact its 89th!
Perhaps it is time the current form of the Carnival Committee investigated and came to a definitive decision re- the number of carnivals and queens Kenilworth has had, so we know precisely how many we are celebrating; this will become particularly important as the centenary approaches. We will have three centenaries – a hundred years of the carnival, 100 carnivals and 100 queens – all different years, and reasons to celebrate three times!
A history of the carnival up to 1951, including a photograph of every Queen to that date, can be found in my book ‘Kenilworth People and Places, Volume 2’.
In closing, I wish Miss Sillito-Tooth an enjoyable year, I am sure it will be one she never forgets.
Robin D Leach, Arthur Street, Kenilworth