Ilkeston - Return Of The Carnival
w/e 10 June 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Carnival in 2006 had to be cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances but it returned this year and defied the weather forecasters on what turned out to be probably one of the hottest and sunniest days of the year so far.

Breaston Highlanders

The street parade was led, as has become the custom in recent years, by the Long Eaton Militaires but the appearance of the Breaston Highlanders brought back memories of over half a century ago when they were regular attendees. In those days there were normally six or seven marching bands and numerous floats and whilst I was walking up Bath Street and through the Market Place to take these photos the most common phrases I heard contained the words "used to". The parade "used to" start at one end of the town at Cotmanhay and conclude at the Beauty Spot on the edge of Kirk Hallam at the other end. The front end of the procession "used to" be on the Market Place whilst the rear was still at the bottom of Bath Street. In these modern times there are not as many participants and the parade route is much shorter but when the sun shines and there is a band passing by the Ilkeston folk still turn out in their thousands.

Once a common sight on Bath Street, a Midland General B2 bus in its cream and blue livery looked in pristine condition whilst an easy rider also drew almost as many admiring glances as the young Carnival Queen and her pretty attendant in an open top sports car.
Carnival Characters

On such a hot day I didn't envy these three carnival characters attired in their fancy dress costumes. Mind you the roller skated clown did take it easy on the way up Bath Street hitching a ride behind one of the floats! Anyone remember Michael Crawford's escapades as Frank Spencer in similar circumstances?
Recreation Ground

Whether in vehicles or on foot (or roller skates) the destination of the procession was the Rutland Recreation Ground and crowds of people followed the parade to join the large number that had already assembled there.
Drummers Galore

Drums seemed to be the order of the day. A steel band kept many people happy with their Caribbean rhythms and the Militaires (seen here on Bath Street) were first in the arena at the Rec. to give an excellent and much appreciated marching routine. Another drummer on the Gallows Inn float belted out more syncopation to accompany the Wolfman Disco.
Ice Cream Queue

The Ice Cream Van did a roaring trade in the hot weather but you had to be patient. Most of the people in this image were in the queue waiting their turn.
Fun And Games

And if ice cream could wait awhile there was much to do to keep amused. You could hone your long bow skills with the Three Shire Medieval Society, engage in a spot of Sumo Wrestling or "Play Your Cards Right" with the Ilkeston Stroke Club along with lots of other fun and games.

And while all this entertainment was going on around them this charming group from the 8th Ilkeston Rainbows of Christ Church, Cotmanhay and Shipley found time after climbing down from their float to pose for me. Then they were off to join in the fun - hope they had their sunscreen on.

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