Carnival Day
Take Part
Have a
Nice Day
Saturday 7th June 2003
Theme: "40 Floats For 40 Years"
Project: Essex Air Ambulance
Queen &
Project &

View From The Field -
2003 Picture Gallery
Preparations Procession Meadowside Window

Fate dealt out its usual list of problems. Spiderman broke his wrist, the group blew their amps, preparations were hampered by rain showers, injuries struck down key helpers - to name but a few. Despite this, the 2003 Carnival took place under sunny skies and entertained thousands of people.

It was immense, well it was good anyway. Hopefully the pictures above give you a flavour of the event. Some are a bit fuzzy but that's the compromise we have to make for us Internet users still stuck with modems.

The Street Collection was down on the spectacular figure collected in 2002. However, it was still an impressive £1600. This will be donated to the Essex Air Ambulance later in the year and should be increased once proceeds from the days other activities are added.

Once again we would like to thank everyone who took part or attended the event. We hope to see you all again next year.

2003 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
  • 2.30 Haurel and Lardy
  • 3.30 Procession arrives at Meadowside
  • 4.00 Grand Opening by Carnival Queen
  • 4.10 Marxmen
  • 4.30 Haurel and Lardy
  • 5.15 Witham Majorettes
  • 5.30 Hadleigh Marching Militaire
  • 5.50 Witham Twirlettes
  • 6.00
  • 6.30 Spiderman
  • 7.00 Melton Mowbray Toy Soldiers
  • 7.30 Wrestling
  • 8.00 Live Band
  • 9:00 Grand Draw
  • 9.15 Live Band
  • 10.30 Melton Mowbray Toy Soldiers
  • 11.00 Good Night
Braintree Carnival 2003
Other Attractions
  • Dive Bomber
  • Big Wheel
  • Dodgems
  • The Round Up
  • The Eliminator
  • Super Bob
  • Waltzers
  • Ski Jump
  • Children's Rides
  • Face Painting
  • Sideshows
  • Bouncy Castle

2003 Street Procession Entries and Winners
Class 1b
Decorated Vehicles
1. Poulters Taxis
2. Brian Chinnery Carpets
3. Paragon In-Car
> Benson School of Motoring
Class 2a
Voluntary Organisations (under 30ft)
1. Body Wax Beauty Studio
2. 158 Air Training Corps.
3. Braintree Masonic Centre
Class 2b
Voluntary Organisations (over 30ft)
1. 7th Braintree Brownies
2. P.O.D.S Divorced & Separated Club
3. 1st & 2nd Braintree Brownies
H/C. Great Bradfords Youth Club
> Braintree Youth Services
Class 3a
Commercial & Industrial Firms
1. Braintree Leisure Centre
2. Cineworld Multiplex Cinema
3. George Yard Shopping Centre
H/C. Tesco, Marks Farm
> Benson School Of Motoring
> Braintree District Council
Class 3b
Commercial & Industrial Firms
1. Roller World
2. J. Ross Motor Sport
3. George Adams Port Products
> Benson School Of Motoring
Class 4
Dancing Schools and Playgroups
1. White Courts Dance Unlimited
Class 7
Visiting Queens
1. Stowmarket
2. Coggeshall
3. Burnham
> Clacton
> Tiptree
> Witham
Class 8a
Fancy Dress
> P.O.D.S
> Alan Nadin
Class 8b
Fancy Dress
> Carnival Arts.
Chairman's Cup 1.
Window Display Competition 1. Sue Ryder
2. Fleurtations
3. Mill House
H/C Muffets
.. Hannay
.. Barnardo's
.. Edinburgh Woollen Mill
.. Feathers

2003 Carnival Queen and Attendants
2003 Queen & Court
Cheryl Hearn, Carnival Queen
A year ago I was chosen to be Braintree and Bocking' Carnival Queen, and I can't believe how the year has flown by. We went to so many carnivals but the ones I won't forget are Braintree of course and Burnham-on-Crouch as everyone enjoys themselves, the float was all lit up and everyone dances along to the music. It has been a successful year for us, as we have collected many trophies. Well now the Thank Yous, firstly to Pat, Robert, Ronnie and Tom for taking Jessica, Marney and me to all the lovely days out that we had, Pat for making the lovely dresses that we all had, and thanks for making the float look as nice as it did every time we went out. Last but not least to my two princesses, who I enjoyed being with all year and spending my weekends with. I wish this years Carnival Court all the luck and I hope that you all have as much fun as we have all had. Cheryl
Marney Rolfe, Carnival Princess
I told my mum I wanted to be a Carnival Princess and kept asking when they were going to be picked. I was so excited on that Saturday that I made my mum get there early so that we did not miss it. I was the first to arrive and had number 1 that was so scary as I was up first at every round, until there was only 2 of us left. We went to lots of different carnivals and met lots of new people but Braintree Carnival Day was the best day of my life, it was BRILLIANT. I would like to thank Pat and Robert and everyone else in carnival for making my dream come true. Thank you, Jessica Duarte
2003 Crowning
2003 Carnival
Jessica Duarte, Carnival Princess
Being a Carnival Princess was great fun and I really enjoyed going to all the different places. The Carnival that I remember most is Braintree because it was the first one and we got to go on all the rides and we won lots of prizes. And I enjoyed the night Carnivals and the day ones, I enjoyed spending time with Cheryl and Jessica they were fun to be with. I would like to thank Pat and Robert and everyone that played a part in taking care of me while we was out and about. Thank you, Marney Rolfe

2003 Project and Donations
Air Ambulance Essex Air Ambulance Air Ambulance
  • Based at Boreham (Chelmsford)
  • Average of 2-3 missions per day
  • Operational 7 days per week
  • Flies at 2 miles per minute
  • Max flying time to nearest hospital is 8 minutes
  • Helicopter is a Stretch Bolkow 105 DBS
  • Crew of 1 pilot and 2 paramedics
  • Carries 1 patient
  • Carries full life-support medical equipment
  • Costs £65,000 per month to operate
  • Funded entirely by public donations

2003 Sponsored Walk

The 2003 walk took place in almost perfect conditions with 52 walkers attending. Our thanks goes to all walkers especially those raising money for our own project, Essex Air Ambulance.

We also thank those who took part in the organisation including route markers, marshals, back markers, refreshments and start/finish marshals.

Details of the 2003 Walk were as follows:
Date: Sunday 14th September 2003
Venue: Bocking Sports Club
Distance: 20km (12.5 miles)
Start: 9.00 a.m. (latest 9.15 a.m.)
Stages: 12 (refreshments half way)
The walk took place in the same area as the 2002 walk but in the reverse direction. Also the amount of road used was reduced by about 1.5 miles.

2003 Carnival Diary
The following events include those organised or attended by the Braintree and Bocking Carnival and its representatives.
Month Date Event Notes
February Saturday 1st Old Peoples Party, Bocking Singing
March Friday 28th Carnival Queen Selection Cheryl Hearn
March Saturday 29th Princess Competition Marney Rolfe
Jessica Duarte
May Monday Bocking Village Fair Crowning
June Friday 6th 'Window Display' Judging 1st Sue Ryder
Picture Gallery
June Saturday 7th Braintree Carnival Details
Picture Gallery
June Saturday 21st Tiptree Carnival 1st Queen & Court
July Saturday 12th Witham Carnival Queen & Court
July Saturday 12th Great Notley Fete  
July Saturday 19th Coggeshall Carnival  
August Saturday 9th Clacton Carnival  
August Tuesday 12th Clacton Torchlight Procession  
September Sunday 14th Sponsored Walk  
September Tuesday 20th Dunmow Carnival  
September Saturday 27th Burnham-on-Crouch Carnival  

2003 Programme Article - A 'Typical' Carnival Day Part 1
Note: So what happens on a typical Carnival Day? How does Meadowside become transformed from the everyday 'muddy field' into the bustling Carnival field?

'Carnival Day' starts early: usually Wednesday. The first job of the day (after a hearty breakfast and cup of tea obviously) is to start transporting 'stuff' to the field. Stuff initially consists of sideshows and poles. There is also the question of a couple of caravans to act as a base for the week. The main reason for the base is obviously to have somewhere to make cups of tea and drink them.

On the field itself, the first job is to mark out and then dig the pole holes. But first, what are the poles and what are they used for?

  • The poles are about forty 15ft wooden flag poles (actually they are at least 40 year old wooden scaffle poles)
  • These are placed evenly (12ft) around two sides of the arena to mark out places for sideshows. Also used to hang bunting and electric cables around them. The Chairman says it gives some height to the field.

The pole holes are actually drilled. The 'drill' consists of a huge drill bit (approx. 6" diameter) attached to small motor with two men hanging on it trying to make an impression in the bone-dry ground. Occasionally, after much effort, lots of sweat and gratuitous swearing they end up with a 3ft. deep hole.

Whilst the holes are being dug, the poles themselves have to be sorted. Unfortunately all the poles are of completely different heights and thickness so firstly have to be sorted into order. They can then be located and moved into position to ensure a lovely, ascetically pleasing display. Failing this, they're just put anywhere much to the distress of the Field Coordinator.

The poles can then be stood up and the holes filled in. However, the majority of the pole sticks out of the top of the hole and they tend to wobble a bit. Hence, some effort and prodding is required to avoid this.

Drilling the pole holes is exhausting takes all day and it is not uncommon for it to drag over into Thursday. It is quicker if previous holes can be found but is also directly related to the length of the lunch 'hour' taken by the drill operatives.

Monty's Mecca

Once the poles are complete work can start on sorting the various stalls out. The committee run about fifteen of there own stalls which all have to be assembled and fenced off. Some of these stalls are used at other events during the year but for others it will be the first time they have been out since the last carnival. Therefore, a certain degree of repairs and painting will be necessary to keep things sparkling, clean and serviceable.

Planning the location of the stalls can also take some time but only because it gives the Field Coordinator a good excuse to sit in the corner drinking tea and looking busy. Tradition has it that the first stall to be assembled is Monty's Mecca. This consists of a 10 ft square board made up of five sections held together and mounted 15 ft in the air on a frame of metal scaffold poles. The construction of this is completely baffling to a newcomer but is actually quite simple; providing you have had at least 20 years experience of building it.

This usually takes much of the morning leading us nicely to lunchtime. Lunch consists of either a trip to a pub or a trip to KFC (preferred to McDonalds) but both have their inherent problems. A pub visit requires a two-hour discussion to decide which one to go to. We then decide to do KFC instead which is great as we simply chuck in a few quid each to buy a couple of three buckets. Unfortunately, it then takes another hour to decide who should go. One year we plan to ring for pizza and have it delivered.

During the day, other items are also transported to the field including fencing, barbeques, tables, chairs, boilers, gas cylinders, stakes, flags etc.

If all the required objectives are met and preparations have reached a sufficient stage, the team are allowed to spend Thursday evening in the pub. So far we have always been successful in meeting these objectives. However, the thresholds are constantly under review and have been known to alter from year to year.

Friday morning and the tents arrive. Twenty years ago, about six tents including a huge marquee would be scattered around the field. This has now reduced to a disappointing but far cheaper, two.

For the team though the main order of the day is to erect the remaining stalls. Obviously repairs and painting are still going on and it's only a question of time before someone picks up a freshly painted board. Veterans know to never pick up anything near the 'painting area' until you have seen at least two people touch it first.

Erecting stalls has been written about before but probably requires a quick explanation. The process is very similar to constructing an item of self-assembly furniture but without the instructions, all the bits or any logic. Unlike Monty's Mecca, most of the stalls can be learnt in only ten years. The first trick is to work out which pieces of brightly coloured wood make which stall. Once this has been mastered, you simply have to put it together. The skills mastered for constructing one stall can then be taken to the next and completely ignored. Each uses its own ingenious method of construction involving bolts, brackets, slots, stakes, string, nails (but only in an emergency) and anything else Tom and Robert found lying around at the time.

With this degree of complexity, obviously the highly skilled, highly trained, experienced members carry out the actual construction of the sideshows. The less experienced trainees are kept busy with jobs such as hammering in stacks, constructing fences and tying on bits that drop off due to poor construction.

The only thing that can stop the workers (apart from the occasional tea break) is lunch. Once again this can be time consuming due to the previously mentioned problems.

At some stage during the afternoon, the stage arrives. This is actually a 40ft trailer that is simply driven onto the field. Those of us who remember building the stage in the past think this is wonderful but I digress and it's another story for another time.

Friday night is time for the traditional Friday night barbeque. We have tried holding this on a different night but it just isn't the same. The odd beer is also consumed and the team can relax knowing that the easy bit is over.

Only the day itself is left but more about that next year...

2003 Billy's Diary Aged 4 - My Fifth Carnival
This could be the last time you ave to put up wiv such bad writin as I is startin skool in Septemba. So by the time you is readin this I should be learnin to read an writ betta. I hope I will be able to fit writin me diary in between all the homework I will be gettin and all the parties I will be goin to. Dad is still helpin me this year so if you don't like any of it, he writ that bit.
We woz avin a lovly Carnval. The sun woz shinin and evry one was workin extra hard. Then Mummy hurt her back and was poorly and missed it. Let me explain:

Not sure but I fink it mite be anotha Carnval. Mum and Dad has kept very quiet about it as I get very excited. Saw Dad get his toolbox out of the shed and not do any house fixin so he must have put it in car.
We as had a long drive an is at Granma & Granpas house. We stopped on the way for somink to eat. I had my favourite chicken nuggets for a change.

It is! It is! It is! We is back on Muddiside (which is not very muddi agin) gettin ready. Dad as bin hangin on the end of the drill agin while the big boys make the pole holes with it.
They as not done well this year and got it stuck twice. It took ages to get it out. Dad called the drill a 'Mad Ast Mudda Suca' but it did not help. I asked Mum wot one was and Mum told Dad off and took me to play football. When we got back where we is stayin, I asked Grandma wot one was and she went red and told be not to say it.

Dad is still diggin holes with his friends. Mum is still paintin. I is gettin bored so I goes back to Granma Janet & Granpa Mike for dinna. Decide to have chicken nuggets as I ain't had them for ages.
Mum an Dad come home for tea and Mum as hurt her back. She could ardly hobble to the pub tonite so I offered to help her but obviously I would ave to stop and ave a drink. She said she could manage as it was only round the corner an I add to go to bed.

Mum should have listened to me. She still has a bad back and is goin to see an O-Stee-O-Path. I fought it was a man from Star Wars but Dad say it is a special Docta. Docta says Mum has a bad back (fink we new that) and musn't sit down.
Poor Dad as well. His car is broken and a man in a big yellow van had to come and fix it in the middle of Muddiside. I think he had to pump up the battry cos it was flat.
Cos of all this we was late avin dinna. I is starvin so has chicken nuggets as they is me favourites.
Mum walked around field holdin map for Dad and tellin our friends where to build the wooden huts. I helped Granma Pat make the tea and eat the biscuits she keeps puttin out.

Poor Mum. She is worse and can ardly walk. Dad says he will stay at home and look after her but Mum insists that he goes and helps wiv Carnval. Well that's wot Dad said but not sure when this happened cos Dad is already gone when I get up at 6.30.
Dad comes home for breakfast and takes me back to Muddiside wiv him. It is a bit hectic cos we don't have Mum to tell us wot to do. I help Dad lots but I is not as good as Mum. We make some mistakes and put fings in the wrong place. Dad's friends don't know what they is doin either so don't know we is doin it wrong.
Could not decide wot to have for dinna so had chicken nuggets for a change. Afta dinna, took Granma and Grandad to drive thru the town agin wiv Carnval Queen. I fink they has to take me and my friend Alicia as they is gettin very old and would get lost if we did not tell them the way.
I is dressed in me Spider Man costume wiv me mask an evryfink but no web shooter. Some people fink I am really Spider Man. Don't want to upset them so pretend I is.
When we gets back to Muddiside I finds Dad and we goes home to see Mum. She is still very poorly but Granma and Granpa is lookin afta her. We takes Granma back to the Carnval so I can show her all the rides and things. I lets her take me on evryfink.
Afta hours and hours, Granma is getting tired and I has spent all her pennies so I lets Dad take us home. Poor Mum is still poorly so I tells her all about the Carnvul before I goes to bed.

Me an Dad goes round to Auntie Lynn Ringo Dog as they is avin a barbq for helpers. When we gets there they is all watchin a video of the Carnval. Not sure why as they was all there and it was only yesterday so surely they can not have forgot it already.
I tries a sausage but it is a bit burnt. Auntie Lynn Ringo Dog cooks me some chicken nuggets as a special treat cos I was very good yesterday at the Carnvul.

Mum is still poorly so she is off to see O-Stee-O-Path agin to make her feel betta. He say she still not allowed to sit down.
We is drivin back to Leeds and Mum is lyin down. We is stoppin 4 times on the way home but only two times cos I is sick. It is too hot and sunny. Bout time Dad buyed a car wiv aircon like wot I keep tellin im.
We does stops for tea cos Dad is feelin very tired. Decide to have . . . fish fingers. I is gettin a bit fed up wiv chicken nuggets.