PICTURE GALLERY: Downham Market Carnival

The man who started the first Downham Market Carnival 37 years ago was beaming with pride today at the success the event has become.

Tinker Taylor, 83, the 2010 Downham Market Citizen of the Year, is no longer actively involved in running the carnival, but was invited along today as a special guest.

He was driven in a vintage 1932 Austin Sixteen, alongside the mayor of Downham Market Val Starling and mayor's consort Ray Starling, behind jamboree band Callow Street Paraders, which led the procession through the town to the Howdale, where the carnival took place.

Mr Taylor who has been mayor of Downham Market three times, said at the carnival today: 'What can I say but look at this. Years ago Downham Market was a very quiet agricultural town, but over the years this carnival has grown and grown and I could not be more proud of what it has become.'

The town came alive with colour and music as children dressed as cowboys and native American Indians, classic cars, vintage tractors and even a live rock band formed parts of the procession through Downham Market.

The carnival featured fairground rides and stalls from various local groups and associations, including the Royal British Legion, Downham Market Rotary Club and Denver Sailing Club.

Despite the rain and cold weather there was an excellent turnout of people. Mr Starling who is on the carnival committee, said: 'I've been involved with the carnival for about six years and this is the biggest carnival procession I've ever seen here.

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'I expect there will be between two and three thousand people here today and this whole affair has been put together by just seven or eight hard-working people. It's days like this that show there is a really fantastic community spirit in Downham Market.'

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