July 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
More than 60 ex-majorettes are set to take the streets of Sudbury by storm as they twirl their batons and beat their drums for the first time in several decades.
When Sharron Thomas and Donna Dix – both Sudbury majorettes in the 1970s and 1980s – heard about a bid to revive the town’s carnival this summer after a break of more than 20 years, they were curious about what had happened to fellow majorettes who used to take part in the event alongside a marching band.
So they put out an appeal on Facebook, and within a day, more than 180 people had got in touch, posting pictures and reminiscing about their carnival days.
Out of those, around 60 have signed up to lead the carnival procession on August 24.
Ms Dix said they had been overwhelmed by the response and the fond nostalgia for the majorette groups, which included the Great Cornard and Sudbury Marching Band and Troop, the Suffolk Royals and the Mauve Thorns.
She said: “Due to the brilliant response, we will be heading up the carnival this year, leading the parade just like we did in the old days.
“The only difference is because many of us are now in our 50s, we are going to lose the short skirts and wear t-shirts instead.
“We are looking for as many people as possible to take part and we are particularly keen to find drummers.”
Ms Dix - who represented Sudbury during the 1980s at a town twinning event in Hoxter, Germany - said anyone who thought majorettes just “wore fancy costumes and twirled batons” was sorely mistaken. The women are taking their carnival duties very seriously, they have formed a committee and are hiring the Stevenson Centre in Great Cornard to put in some regular training.
Ms Dix continued: “We always had to be very disciplined and even had to attend ‘passing out parade’ training at Colchester Barracks.
“We want all over the country to take part in marches – it was hard work but very enjoyable.”
As part of their carnival reunion, the majorettes will be raising money for breast and testicular cancer charities.
Snare drummers interested in joining the parade can call Donna on 07828 218921 to sign up.
If you would like to reunite with members of a childhood club, old school friends or former clubmates, email us details and we will help you find the missing links.