Cromer archiving session keen to gather people’s carnival day pictures and memories

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 January 2013

Red Barrows action from a  previous Cromer carnival.

Red Barrows action from a previous Cromer carnival.


It is an annual event when towns dress up and go a bit daft, creating a mountain of happy memories.

Now a new online archive is seeking to capture those magical carnival day moments as part of a national project.

And a session, where people can bring along their pictures, paperwork and souvenirs for scanning and photographing, is being held at Cromer at the weekend.

Local project organiser Cathie Davies said: “People may think their pictures are just their children in the parade - but they are also social history.

“We just want material to do with parades and carnival queens, but it can also be programmes, plans of their floats and costumes, even minutes from meetings - to show the work that goes into preparing carnivals.

“People watch and enjoy themselves without realising what happens in the background. It also shows how people come together and learn new skills from organisation to art,” added Ms Davies.

Although the upcoming session was at Cromer, people could also bring in pictures of other Norfolk carnivals - including souvenir items which could be photographed for the records.

The UK’s first digital carnival archive is being developed by the UK Centre for Carnival Arts with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and being carried out locally in liaison with Norwich and Norfolk Community Arts.

It aims to celebrate the rich history of carnivals and street processions around the nation - starting with Norfolk, Southend, Northampton and Luton, with a view to adding others parts of the country later.

The archive consists of photos, film, programmes, posters, flyers and all kinds of carnival memorabilia which have been donated by carnival enthusiasts, spectators, participants and organisers. It also includes oral history sessions where people’s memories and anecdotes are captured.

Ms Davies said an archive collecting session held at Sheringham earlier brought into a good range of material, including stories about one carnival queen who met her future husband when he drove her in the parade.

The Cromer session is at the The Cottage pub on Louden Road from 10am to 3pm on Saturday January 19.

Ms Davies can also be contacted on 01603 760529 or

To view the emerging archive or to upload material to it visit

People can also follow the project on Facebook at NorwichNorfolk.

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