Carnival Day
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Saturday 10th June 2000
Theme: "Braintree Into The Millennium"
Project: Various
Queen &
Project &

View From The Field - Carnival Fun In The Sun

As the floats lined up at Lakes Road and Chapel Hill, the sun shone down on the watching crowds. The torrential rain that tried to washout the 1999 event was forgotten and the 37th Braintree and Bocking Carnival was underway.

The watching crowds cheered as nearly thirty floats made their way through the streets of Braintree. A combination of robots, spacemen, Second World War heroes and even Oliver Twist all helped 'Braintree into the Millennium', this years theme.

As the procession approached Meadowside, two cars blocked the traditional route. This forced the floats along Meadowside itself causing chaos for police, lorry drivers and organisers attempting to gather the street collection off the floats. There was also disappointment for the crowds lining Coldnailhurst Avenue.

As the sun shone, the watching crowds were entertained by a variety of acts and displays. Top of the bill this year was Heir of Insanity with their magical mix of aerial and acrobatic skills.

Carnival committee chairman Robert Watson said "We were very fortunate with the weather this year. As the day went on it seemed to get brighter and brighter." A Braintree police spokesman said: "It was a peaceful day which passed without major incident."

2000 Programme of Events (As Advertised)
  • 1.00 Floats form at Lakes Road
  • 2.00 Judging of Floats
  • 2.00 Sideshows Open at Meadowside
  • 2.30 Procession leaves Lakes Road
  • 3.30 Procession arrives at Meadowside
  • 4.00 Grand Opening by Carnival Queen
  • 4.00 District Scout and Guide Band
  • 4.15 Heir of Insanity
  • 5.00 Braintree Dimensions
  • 5.20 The Blue Falcons
  • 5.50 Melton Mobray Toy Soldiers
  • 6.10 Heir of Insanity
  • 6.55 The Musical Fun Factory
  • 7.00 Wrestling
  • 8.00 Hogs Eye (Band)
  • 9.00 Grand Draw
  • 9.15 Hogs Eye (Band)
  • 10.30 Melton Mobray Toy Soldiers

Other Attractions

  • Steam Gallopers
  • Dive Bomber
  • Big Wheel
  • Dodgems
  • The Round Up
  • The Eliminator
  • Super Bob
  • Doc Spinoff and his Tricky Tricycles
  • 5-a-side football

2000 Street Procession Entries and Winners
Class 1a
Veteran Vehicles
1. Denis Buster with the British Legion
> Farm Machinery Preservation Society
Class 1b
Voluntary Organisations (under 30ft)
1. Robin Poulters Taxis
> Bradley Security
> Braintree Strategy Group
> Zipp Limited
> Tony Garret
> The Angel Public House
Class 2b
Voluntary Organisations (over 30ft)
1. Braintree Mini Rugby Club
> Giffins End Brownies
> 158 Air Training Corps
> 4th Braintree Scout Group
> Braintree Football Community Project
Class 3
Commercial & Industrial Firms
1. Business Post
> Benson School of Motoring
> Freeport
Class 4
Dancing Schools and Playgroups
1. White Court Dance Unlimited
Class 5
Any other Public Houses, Action or Street Groups, Individuals
1. Musical Society
> Bocking End Congregational Church
> Val Humphreys Chesnut Grove
> Phil Amanet
> Braintree College
Class 7
Visiting Queens
1. Maldon
> Witham
> Tiptree
> Ashingdon
> Brightlingsea
> Chelmsford
> Coggeshall
Chairman's Cup 1. Musical Society
Windows Display Competition  

2000 Carnival Queen and Attendants
Alexandra Khan, Carnival Queen
My year as carnival Queen has been a great experience and a lot of fun. When I was chosen I could not believe it. Being crowned on May Day was my first real appearance and I was so nervous but as the year progressed I started to become a little more relaxed. Our first Carnival was Braintree and I remember it as a really hot sunny day with a lot of laughter. It was great having all my family and friends there watching and supporting me. I had a wonderful time going to all the other Carnivals and meeting the other Queens and Princesses. One of my favourite duties was visiting the elderly peoples' homes at Christmas and handing out Christmas cards.
I would like to thank Pat for making such a beautiful Dress, I felt like a true Queen. Also, a massive thank you to all the Carnival Committee for their care and support through the year. Thank you both Alissa and Stephanie, you've been fantastic and I have really loved your company, I am going to miss you girls well done! Well my year is nearly up, it has been so special I will remember it always; I would like to wish the new Queen the best of luck for the year 2001. Have fun and enjoy, you will be great.
1999 Queen & Court
Alissa Benfield, Carnival Princess
I was chosen for Carnival Princess, the thing I liked most was going to the hospital to see the newborn babies at Christmas and going to Braintree Carnival. Thank you for a lovely year.
Stephanie Humphreys, Carnival Princess
I liked being Carnival Princess, I loved the rides at our Braintree Carnival most of all. We had good weather too. Thank you to the people who took us and looked after us.

2000 Project and Donations

The stated aim prior to the 2000 Carnival was 'to raise £2000 from the street collection, sideshows on Carnival Day and the sponsored walk and donate the money to up to ten local projects'.

The following organisations all benefited by various amounts up to £300:

  • The Music Fun Factory
  • Panfield Little School
  • Braintree and District Society for the Mentally Handicapped
  • The Salvation Army
  • Braintree Dimensions
  • Tabor Physically Handicapped Society
  • Braintree and District Scout and Guide Band
  • Woman's Refuge
  • St. John's Ambulance
  • First Stop

2000 Programme Article - A Moving Experience
Note: The following article appeared in the 2000 programme:

Forget all my previous moaning about setting up the Carnival stalls. Disregard anything I might have said about the long hard hours on the field and the all too brief "tea breaks" in the pub. I even take back MOST of the personal abuse directed at Captain Fun when at 1.30 on Sunday morning he is the only one on Meadowside with a cordless screwdriver and he won't let the rest of us play. This year I am coming to the Carnival for a good rest.

I have just moved house after 15 years in Yorkshire and I am physically and emotionally drained. Having moved into my old place with just a fridge, a bed and a video recorder, I was amazed to find how much furniture, clothing and clutter had simply grown out of the walls. Luckily a friend had just bought a house and was not too proud to accept my 2nd, 3rd and probably 15th hand furniture leaving just enough to fit neatly into a hired transit van. For 48 glorious hours we joined the ranks of White Van Man and threw caution to the wind, the Highway Code out of the window and became the Thelma and Louise of the West Midlands.

This is in itself a problem I am no longer part of the Northern Branch of the Carnival Committee, but not yet a southerner. On top of everything else I have a geographical identity crisis.

A week earlier I had tackled the problem of moving three assorted cats and a large black dog in a small black car. The main challenge was that even though I have a cat box big enough for a small horse, cat A likes cat B but hates cat C, cat B likes cat A and does not mind cat C and cat C does not mind either but prefers the dog. Tempting fate I threw them all in together and got about 200 yards before all hell broke loose and I had to blow £14 on a second cat box. They have all settled in well and are now the best of friends as they gang up on the local wildlife.

So now here I am surrounded by boxes that have not yet learned to unpack themselves. The new house is both small and open plan which does not sit well with my motto of "a place for everything and everything all over the place". I am stressed out of my wits and aching in places I did not know I had; compared to this, Carnival will be an absolute doddle.

Thanks to all who helped with the move, particularly Captain Fun who rescued us when the van humiliatingly ran out of fuel 2 miles from home and even, finally, lent me his cordless screwdriver. See you at Carnival. I will be the one who is NOT grumbling about my back, whining that I'm tired and cursing the Captain under my breath. Well, maybe just a little bit for old times sake.

2000 Billy's Diary Aged 1¾ - My "Second Carnival"
Dad said he wonted me to writ somthink for his Carnvul Program agin. I told him I'm only 2 and cant writ yet, in fact I cant even talk propa yet. Well I can, I can talk very well, but they cant understand a word I sayin. Is they stupid or somink. So I fought I'd writ about my experience at lastyears Carnvul as evryone enjoyed readin about my first one.
I just bin reading wot I writ last year and I cant believe wot a baby I was. Wot was I doin eatin the grass and wot was all that nonsense about the 'Rain Monster'
We arrive. Evryone is hard at it, drinkin tea and eatin cakes. Looks like fun so I join them. I play on the grass with Grandad which is good. Aunty Ringo Dog takes pictures of us. Typical, I've bin cooped up in that car for 4 hours and don't look at my best. We is back on the big Carnvul field agin. Uncle Ringo Dog has already told big rides where to go. There is a new one this year. Looks a bit scary so I think I might give it a miss.
Dad draws a plan of where to put his wooden huts and things. While he is busy drinking a cup of tea I add my own ideas in red felt tip pen. Dad not happy. Perhaps he dont like red. I'll try blue next time.
Help Mum and Dad and their friends move big bits of wood around. Dad knows what's goin on and bosses people about. He is dead good at it. Must remember to ask Dad why his friends make faces at him when he is not looking.
Later on I get dragged off in car with Grandad and Granma. Funny, they has same car seat as Mum and Dad.
I is too wacked to get into bed with Mum and Dad tonight so sleep in my own cot. Mum and Dad did a runner this morning while I was not looking. I stay and play with Grandma and Granpa. We goes shopping later on. Funny, they has same car seat as Mum and Dad.
I is hurt. I was just sat playin and mindin me own business. I weren't tryin to reach Grandmas dolls at all when the table leapt up and banged me on the edd. I now got a huge black eye so I'll look well ard tomorrow.
Just as I think its time I was getting ready for bed. We go off out again. We is havin a Bar-b-q at the Carnvul field. Uncle Ringo Dog is settin light to the same lumps of meat he did last year. He is very good at it. I helps Mum & Dad sort things out in the mornin. Evryone is runnin around looking very busy. I keeps looking out cos it should start rainin soon like last year.
Somink is wrong. Its din-din time and the sun is still shinin. Wots goin on? I got me coat and wellys ready but don't need them.
I goes off with Grandad & Grandma agin and cousin Paul comes with us this time. Funny they has same car seat as Mum and Dad.
It's all very odd. We is driving along and some ladies follow us sat on some chairs. People walk along in front of us playing music. I keep asking if they will play Winnie-the-Pooh' but no one listens to me. Then there is lots of people along the road waving at me and cheering. I wave back and they wave even more.
Me and Paul get out to walk. We walk for miles (100 yards ed) and I is tired. Paul is a bit scared of all the people so I lets him carry me.
It is a nice hot sunny afternoon and lots of people turn up to see me agin. Told Dad he should have had it on a day like this last year and not on the rainy one he chose. No sense of humour some people.
When it eventually gets dark I help Mummy & Daddy take down their wooden things. I put a big spanner in Daddys box I hope this helps. Daddys friends were looking for the spanner. I tell them where it is but no one takes any notice.
When its time to go home, I protest in the strongest possible terms. I is right worn out so have a kip on the way home. Next thing I know its mornin time and I wakes up in me cot. I get up early and take Mum to Freeport as a special treat as she worked so hard yesterday. We leave Dad asleep in bed. Wot a wimp.