Fancy dressers going for gold as Sheringham Carnival is set to take off

Fancy dress fun will turn into a quest for a gold sovereign as a town carnival gets in the swing over the next week.

To mark 100 years since it was formed, Starlings toy shop in Sheringham is offering the special coin - valued at �100 - to the overall winner of the children's dressing up contest.

The coin has particular significance, as a gold half-sovereign used to be offered as a Christmas fancy dress prize by Starlings founder Walter Starling in the 1920s.

Mr Starling used to hire a char-a-banc and tour the surrounding villages to pick up youngsters for the competition, held every festive season in the town.

Now his grandson, Starlings chairman David Starling, is rekindling the tradition.

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He said: 'We thought it would be a nice way to mark 100 years of the business. We are offering �30, �15 and �5 to the first, second and third in each category - but the �100 gold quarter-sovereign to the overall winner.'

The event is among scores that will be happening as Sheringham Carnival hits the town from Saturday July 28 to Sunday August 5.

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Secretary Paula Popham said she has 'ordered' sunshine, and added: 'I'm really excited. Everybody's going to be in a really happy summer mood, and there will be loads for them to enjoy during the carnival.'

She highlighted a number of events across the week.

Tomorrow, the prince and princess selection disco takes place at the community centre from 10am-12 noon.

And Mrs Popham urged older people to book tickets for a new event, which would see the Time Travel Team presenting songs and sketches from a 1940s radio show at Age Concern UK, Cremer Street, at 2.15pm on Saturday July 28.

The two set-piece days are carnival day, Wednesday August 1, which will include battle of the bands and the popular street races, and the carnival parade on Sunday August 5.

This year, the entire Station car park has been set aside for the floats to assemble, and organisers are expecting a parade to match or outstrip last year's impressive show.

Mrs Popham said that this year, the carnival had been boosted by Hillside Animal Sanctuary giving permission for its High Street shop to be used for the sale of programme and gifts, and the display of pictures taken by official carnival photographer Andy Langley.

The carnival fancy dress is at 2pm outside Starlings on High Street on August 1.

? Pick up a carnival programme from the caravan on Station car park, any of the shops in the town or order online at

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