Colourful Carnival in Hedge End…

Hedge End's Carnival Queen and Princesses

Hedge End’s Carnival Queen and Princesses

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…

Jamz children at Hedge End Carnival 2013

…and old, with the well-rehearsed and very entertaining Romsey Cadets stealing the show.

H.E. Carnival 2013 - Romsey old cade

Well, probably. The excellent drummers from Batala were very colourful, very energetic, full of movement and ran the Romsey Old Cadets  very close…

Hedge End Carnival 2013 - Batala Drummers

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.

SKyline 105.2 float. H.E Carnival 2013

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.

H.E. Carnival 2013 children

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…?

THanks from H.E. Carnival 2013

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…!

  12 comments for “Colourful Carnival in Hedge End…

  1. Sue
    July 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I couldnt make it this year:0( Looks like I missed a brilliant one! I hope everyone had a great time.

  2. July 7, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Yes it was brilliant Sue. Everybody seemed keen to make up for the disappointment of last year. We missed you…!

  3. John Renard
    July 7, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Although not so many floats, this year’s carnival had a buzz that we haven’t seen for a long time. Perhaps it was the glorious weather!
    Standing by the St John’s Centre car park, we were puzzled to see the Scottish pipe band march off on a different route to the rest of the procession! Where? Why? We didn’t see them again all day!
    Congratulations to all involved – and to Ray Turner for turning out this report so quickly.
    (Plus a big thank you to the young Air Cadets who pitched in to help us take down the big tents at the end of a very hot but enjoyable day.)

  4. Sue
    July 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

    usually I go up with my mum and stand in the same place that we have stood since I was 5 years old! And guess what ——– there are others there that have also been viewing the carnival from that spot for at least 50 years as well!

    • July 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Amazing. Thanks Sue. That sounds like a story for next year…?

      Was hot this year. I found a nice shady tree to stand under. That’s becoming my regular spot.

      • Sue
        July 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        I can probably find an old photo of my mum, who is coming up to 81years old, taking part in the carnival when she was about 24. And another of myself at about age 5 :0)

        • July 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm

          We’d love to see those Sue, if you don’t mind sharing them.

  5. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    July 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Great use of the gallery feature Ray – keep forgetting we have that! Among the bugles of Romsey Old Cadets band was Eastleigh News ‘Associate Editor’ Bill Chandler.

  6. John Renard
    July 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    In my post above, I queried where the Scottish pipe band had disappeared to, before the procession had travelled hardly half a mile. Someone now tells me that in fact they headed straight for The Barleycorn to slake their thirsts, ignoring the procession! Surely not!
    Can anyone confirm – or correct – this story?

    • July 10, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I can’t confirm it (yet) John, but I did see the same thing happen about three years ago. The pipers marched down St Johns Road, but didn’t follow the carnival round the rest of the route. I was surprised and joked that they were off to the pub, then thought nothing more about it.

    • Sue
      July 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      my cousin confirms that he had problems getting past all the people outside the Barleycorn which included the pipe band :0) Well it was a hot day!

      • July 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        We’ve got some video footage coming Sue, very soon. I thought that the chap at the front with the baton seemed to be marching a little uncomfortably. I’m speculating of course, but could that be why the Pipe Band adjourn to the Barleycorn a.s.a.p….?

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