Monday, February 06, 2006

Junior Town Cryer Competition

Here we see Bryony Miller from Bexhill-upon-Sea, who produced nearly 325ml of tears in five minutes after being forced to wear a prickly jumper whilst repeatedly being told that Father Christmas didn't exist and her real dad was a school dinner lady from Cheshire called Margaret.

We don't normally condone encouragements of this kind, but Bryony put on a real show and, quite simply, stole the hearts of the judges! We hope Bryony's new foster parents will buy her something lovely with her cash prize of £5.00 to help her cope with being put into care.

Friday, February 03, 2006

1973 Carnival Queen Inauguration Update

Many thanks to long time Alternative Carnival supporter Mr Bernard Cringely, who has sought out this amazing photograph of the 1973 Carnival Queen Inauguration from an old Amiga disk.

He writes: "It was with intense pleasure that I came over your description of the joyous carnivals of the glory days of the Empire. It was my grand-daughter, Muriel-May Cringely who was chosen to make the ultimate sacrifice, and thanks to her my son was rendered fertile enough to produce two healthy young boys to replace her. It was a pleasure to recall her memory. Thank you for bringing a tiny thrill back into an old man's life!"

No... thank you, Mr Cringely!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Inauguration Of The Carnival Queen

Although the UK's joining of the EEC in 1973 put an end to the traditional inauguration ceremony for the Carnival Queen, we do hope that one day our bureaucratic brethren across the channel will see the importance of human sacrifice.

In fact, if we may get political for a moment, the banning of such an
important local festival is simply political correctness gone mad! What right-minded individual could possibly be against the light toasting of a local virgin?

This vintage photograph is from the final inauguration from 1973, just prior to the EEC regulations regarding UK Working Environment Temperature Limits. The fire was lit promptly at 8:30 by then-popular comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, quickly smudging the low clouds with a gentle, flickering glow. Miriam Pugh, correspondent with the Dereham and Fakenham at that time wrote in her Village Notes column that 'a good time was had by all.'

We can only agree, and look back wistfully on a more tolerant time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gran Agility

This rather old photograph from 1986 shows the glory days of the Gran Agility competitions, when grannies from all over the county would flock to Wells to compete for Werther's Originals.

Crowds of children and grandchildren would crowd round the Buttlands, screaming incoherently for their own elderly representative, and the merry sound of creaking hips and spittle-flecked jowls slapping filled the air, punctuated only by the occasional snap of an over-strained ankle.

Sadly, insurance requirements no longer allow us to hold this event, but we'll always treasure the final hours of the 1987 competition when the Queen Mother actually jogged down from Sandringham to display her sexy disco hip swinging action on the see-saw.