Hatherleigh Carnival 2005 //-->
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Page updated: July 23, 2008

Carnival 2005 Home Page

Friday Evening | Saturday Morning | Saturday Afternoon | Saturday Evening | Tar Barrels

November 12th: The weekend approached us wet and windy but Friday evening turned dry just in time, though it was chilly. The evening's two barrel pulls were well supported as usual, marked only by the difficulty in lighting the torches (someone forgot to dip them just prior to collection!). The domineering presence of a police Range Rover which insisted on heading the first procession did not help matters and detracted from the olde worlde atmosphere of this unique event. Later, the vehicle seemed to get the message and reduced its profile somewhat.

Great fun took place afterwards, with much partying as usual throughout the night. Sofa so good. A football match outside the George occupied around 50 lads for a while and then some kind of procession rehearsal took place around the town at around 2.30am - or at least that's what we heard from B&B'ers who stayed at the top of the town. Some ghostly tinkling of ivories was later heard, apparently the spirit of a piano that, in 1903, was on its way to a wealthy lady for a Carnival night party when it slipped off a cart while crossing the old Bridge and fell into the river. The lads in the Bridge Inn pulled it out and dried it a little too well in front of a fire ... at least that is what we've been told. The spirit of that piano haunts the town on Carnival night but you have to be in a special frame of mind to catch it.

The first Tar Barrel Run took place at 5am as usual and then the town retired to breakfast to build its strength for Carnival Day proper, The Eggesford Hunt met outside the George Hotel at 11am, following which Ros Chard and Town Criers from all across the West Country indulged in a bit of crying in The Square. The Window display was won by Tussie Mussie China Shop.

Later, at 2pm, the afternoon procession assembled up at Claremont and, led by the Prince and Princess and the Queen and her attendants, proceeded down Market Street and along Bridge Street to the Market, where the crowning took place followed by the Fancy Dress competition.

And then it was home to a quick tea before heading back to the Market to view the floats as they assembled for the evening procession. The number of crepe paper floats from the Town was slightly down, though the standard was very high, especially the highly mechanised Flowerpot Men. 27 floats in all took part, a touch fewer than last year. A tractor hydraulics problem up near Stoney Cross delayed the procession badly but otherwise things went off more or less as planned. The final Tar Barrel pull went smoothly, though many spectators had left by then due to the cold and the late hour, so the crowds were down in number by that time.

Here are links to (almost) all the above. We hope you enjoy them.

Friday Evening | Saturday Morning | Saturday Afternoon | Saturday Evening | Tar Barrels



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