In a ceremony that has become a traditional part of Whitchurch’s springtime, our Mayor, Cllr Barry Jackman, crowned Natasha Saunders (12) the town’s Carnival Queen for 2012/2013 in the presence of her attendants Katherine Woodman (12) and Beth Wiltshire (11). Also crowned was Carnival Princess Summer Coughtrey (9) in the presence of her attendant Madison Coughtrey (8).
The children are all from Whitchurch schools and the girls were wearing lovely white dresses that were tailored made to fit them perfectly by Cindy Dunlop and Pauline Williams. Later, they all enjoyed dancing around the Maypole. Even the mayor joined in!
WHITCHURCH TRADITION TWIST
Surrounding the Maypole were stalls selling candy floss, hamburgers, and drinks. A small carousel was set up for children to enjoy, and a game of marbles was also played by many.
A new Halo for the Maypole was designed and built by Brian Shrubshall. Children and adults alike skipped around the pole holding its ribbons – tying them up in fancy patterns.
In what must be a purely Whitchurch twist, the old English tradition of maypole dancing was preeceded by an old Eastern tradition of mesmerising belly dancing by Yallah! Many visitors even gave it a go, finding out how fun it is.
Those not dancing seemed to be mostly climbing the nearby trees, seeing how high they could get, or using nets to do a bit of pond dipping.
Many people also made their own wreaths to wear like ancient Olympians. Flowers and plants collected from around the Meadow were gathered and expertly woven together with the assistance of Katya Popova.
The MC for the events was Meadow Trustees chairman, Graham Burgess. Music was coordinated by Festival chairman Rob Dunlop. Some of the money raised will be going towards the Festival Committee’s good causes – see their website here for details.
Click pictures below to see a larger versions…