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Days Gone By - Memories of Ipswich and Hadleigh’s carnival celebrations over the years

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 June 2020

Marian Jordan and colleagues on the Willis float at Ipswich Carnival in 1981 Picture: BARRY JORDAN

Marian Jordan and colleagues on the Willis float at Ipswich Carnival in 1981 Picture: BARRY JORDAN

Barry Jordan

Readers have been sharing their carnival memories - and today we are looking back at Ipswich and Hadleigh’s colourful past processions.

A circus float at Hadleigh Carnival in September 1988 Picture: ARCHANTA circus float at Hadleigh Carnival in September 1988 Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Carnival was hugely popular for many years, with crowds turning out to cheer on the procession through the town, and schools loved taking part.

Jane Reeves, right, in costume with Handford Hall's float at a past Ipswich Carnival Picture: ARCHANTJane Reeves, right, in costume with Handford Hall's float at a past Ipswich Carnival Picture: ARCHANT

Following a previous nostalgia gallery, Jane Reeves wrote: “I used to organise the Handford Hall float every year and we had many successes.

Ipswich Carnival in 1973 Picture: ARCHANTIpswich Carnival in 1973 Picture: ARCHANT

“The children used to come and help prepare during the school holidays and we had many first places, although we had no budget.

This photo of Hadleigh Carnival from May 1981 brought back memories for Michael Woods Picture: ARCHANTThis photo of Hadleigh Carnival from May 1981 brought back memories for Michael Woods Picture: ARCHANT

“I can’t believe that we used to lay the children down in the middle of the lorry and ‘drive very carefully’. Health and safety would never allow that now!”

Ipswich Community Carnival in 2003. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER/ARCHANTIpswich Community Carnival in 2003. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER/ARCHANT

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Many employers also got involved. Marian Jordan wrote: “I remember being on the Willis float in 1981 and we came second. We were Humpty Dumpty and the King’s horses and King’s men. It was a lovely, happy, warm, sunny day.”

Costumes for one of Handford Hall Primary School's floats at Ipswich Carnival Picture: JANE REEVESCostumes for one of Handford Hall Primary School's floats at Ipswich Carnival Picture: JANE REEVES

Hadleigh Carnival also proved very popular over the years, and Michael Woods from Upper Layham contacted us to say that a recently featured nostalgia photo had brought back memories for him.

Hadleigh Carnival in September 1988 Picture: ARCHANTHadleigh Carnival in September 1988 Picture: ARCHANT

READ MORE - Nostalgia: All the fun of the fair in Ipswich

He wrote:“The photograph brought back fond memories for me for two reasons. First the people in the photo were taking part in the Hadleigh Carnival of May 1981 – an event organised by the two Primary schools in the town, Hadleigh County Primary School of which I was headteacher and St Mary’s Primary School of which Philip Mann was headteacher.

Our World was the theme for this Handford Hall float Picture: JANE REEVESOur World was the theme for this Handford Hall float Picture: JANE REEVES

“I am confident to say that the event was a rip-roaring success both socially and financially.

Hadleigh Carnival in September 1986


 Picture: ARCHANTHadleigh Carnival in September 1986 Picture: ARCHANT

“Then, the unruly gang in the photograph were all members of Hadleigh and District Round Table and Hadleigh and District Ladies Circle.

Roman dress and lots of smiles for fund raisers at Hadleigh Carnival in 1991 Picture: ARCHANTRoman dress and lots of smiles for fund raisers at Hadleigh Carnival in 1991 Picture: ARCHANT

“I was privileged to be chairman of Round Table that year and, with a bit of memory priming, am able to tell you that those featured in Billy Bunter’s Skool Band were (from the left) John Byham, Robin Baldwin, Jenny Denny, Marion Leach, Rodney Rolfe and Lionel Denny. John, Marion and Rodney all still live locally.”

Do these photos bring back memories? Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk To order photos, visit www.eadt.co.uk/myphotos24, or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.


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