Colour flooded the roads around Hedge End’s village centre this afternoon, as thousands turned out to watch the annual carnival procession, a tradition which started in 1921 and is still going strong.
Hedge End’s Carnival Queen, Olivia Fisher, was centre stage and very well supported by Carnival Princesses Mia Gardner, Lily-Angell-Collins, Sidnie Killen and Sadie Smith. The Senior Carnival Queen this year, was Margaret Holmes.
As usual, the Carnival Courts from the neighbouring parishes were also present, with Bishopstoke delighted to win first-prize in this class. Bishopstoke Carnival is on the weekend of 7-8th September this year and will clearly be another occasion to look forward to.
With many colourful floats to be seen in the procession and good weather helping the occasion enormously (unlike last year), it was hard to pick a favourite.
Entertainment was provided by young…
…and old, with the well-rehearsed and very entertaining Romsey Cadets stealing the show.
Well, probably. The excellent drummers from Batala were very colourful, very energetic, full of movement and ran the Romsey Old Cadets very close…
Local Community radio station, Skyline 102.5 FM, which broadcasts to the Southern Parishes and can be received in many other parts of the Borough, spent much of the day broadcasting from the carnival and even joined the procession this year.
But Hedge End’s carnival was really all about local children, with schools and playgroups, music groups and other groups all thoroughly enjoying the day, after spending many hours in anticipation and in preparation for the event.
Last but not least, there were some very unusual vehicles to be seen. This rare and distinctive VW pick-up, carrying a thank you message from the organisers, was possibly the pick of the bunch…?
After leaving the Recreation Ground in St Johns Road, the carnival procession wound its usual route through the streets of Hedge End, missing out Grange Park, and finished at Greta Park where ‘Hedge Ends ‘Gala Show’ and a funfair were also in full-swing.
All seemed to go smoothly in Hedge End this year and a good time was had by all, though bus passengers in Moorhill, Thornhill, Bitterne and Woolston might not agree. They were left waiting for a Bluestar 3 service that was stranded in Hedge End because of the road closures.
Although the Hedge End carnival had been publicised for months in advance, we understand that Bluestar had not anticipated the problem or arranged a diversion of its services.
But with one bus stranded and angry passengers waiting at bus-stops further down the route, a diversion of the subsequent Bluestar 3 services was hastily improvised.
We have some more photos of the event, but there far too many too include all of them in this posting. We’ll put those which are in focus in a gallery and add a link to them here presently. Thanks to everybody who posed for us…!