June 19 2013 Latest news:
UK Centre for Carnival Arts visit Cromer to collect residents memories of the carnival. Left to right, Linda March and Cathie Davies, from Carnival Arts, looking at Gillian Litson's photo album. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
By alex hurrell
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Visitors to a carnival archive session in Cromer have kept organisers busy today, leaving behind a large clutch of programmes, photographs and happy memories.
All the material will be scanned and added to a new national on-line carnival archive.
The 10am-4pm session, at The Cottage pub, is one of several which have been held across Norfolk and in Southend, Northampton and Luton.
All have been part of an 18-month project, ending in April, by the Luton-based UK Centre for Carnival Arts using a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of just over £500,000.
The Cromer response has delighted archive co-ordinator Cathie Davies, who ran Norwich’s Lord Mayor’s procession for six years.
“The volume and quality of material we have been given is very good,” she said.
“Carnivals are hard work, but brilliant fun - and they’re also about social history. It’s interesting to compare the differences over the years, and even between different towns. The archive celebrates an art form which is not really recognised.”
Among Cromer visitors was Gillian Litson who took along an album of carnival photographs from the days when she ran the resort’s Gloucester Hotel, between 1972 and 1985.
Mrs Litson remembered how important carnival week was for business, with all her rooms fully booked.
“The only way I could repay the organisers was by throwing myself into it all. We would make costumes and the guests would dress up too. They loved joining in and would re-book year after year. We always threw a big party at the end of it and everyone had a fabulous time,” she recalled.
Cromer-based clowns Razz and Auntie Pearl also dropped in on the session, as did Cromer Carnival chairman Tony Shipp who took along a large collection of old carnival programmes.
Carnival material uploaded onto the archive from across Norfolk dates back to 1924 photographs of an Albany Road event in Norwich. Material has also been gathered from Norwich and towns including Sheringham and Caister.
One Caister man remembered accidentally decapitating a model dinosaur on the back of his carnival lorry when he drove under a bridge.
The Norfolk project will finish with a Carnival Day at The Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, on April 13 when attractions will include learning to Samba and play Samba music, making carnival figures, and food.
● Visit the archive at: www.carnivalarchive.org.uk
Naturists are to be banned from a nationally-renowned Norfolk beach following complaints about anti-social behaviour committed in the area.
max temp: 24°C
min temp: 14°C