Downham Market Festival brings back the carnival queen

Downham Market Carnival Julie Sherwood in 1989. Picture: Submitted.

Downham Market Carnival Julie Sherwood in 1989. Picture: Submitted. - Credit: Submitted.

A former Miss Downham Market shares her carnival queen experiences from the late 1980s.

It has been 25 years since Downham Market had a carnival queen – but organisers have brought the tradition back for this year's festival.

Downham Market Festival starts tomorrow and in keeping with its theme, Back to the Future, the prestigious title has returned.

To celebrate, the Eastern Daily Press has managed to track down one of the last carnival queens who served the town.

Julie Sherwood was the penultimate Downham Market Carnival Queen in 1989 and has a scrapbook of newspaper clippings of her year as Miss Downham Market.

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Flicking through the pages, Mrs Sherwood, of Sporle, near Swaffham, said: 'It was such a fantastic opportunity. The experience was amazing and I was treated like royalty.

'I'd be invited to all the key events in the town; I'd be alongside the mayor to open shops, I helped to launch a boat, and I even joined Baroness Shephard on outings when she was the MP.'

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It is understood the competition ended in 1990. Trina Shipley, the very last carnival queen, now lives in Maryland in the United States.

Khloe Evans, of Glebe Close, Watlington, will be this year's queen and part of Monday's Carnival Day procession.

'I'm really excited and can't wait,' she said. 'I don't think I'll be nervous at all.'

Mrs Sherwood has this advice for the 16-year-old: 'Keep a scrapbook of memories, you may need it 26 years later.'

The 41st Downham Market Festival starts tomorrow. Events and activities will be taking place every day until next Saturday. Monday is carnival day and the procession will be making its way through the town at around 12.15pm.

Were you a Downham Market Carnival Queen? Email

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