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Whoamarket! But Remus saves the day

PUBLISHED: 16:15 23 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

The sun was shining and families lined the streets in anticipation for the 40th annual Stowmarket carnival... but where was the procession?

Thousands of people gathered on grass, street corners and any other available spot to see the floats roll through the town.

The sun was shining and families lined the streets in anticipation for the 40th annual Stowmarket carnival... but where was the procession?

Thousands of people gathered on grass, street corners and any other available spot to see the floats roll through the town.

Representatives of more than 30 groups and societies were due to file past cheering masses.

But although the parade was due to start from the ICI roundabout at 1pm a delay meant that thedestination of the recreation ground was not reached untilabout 2.45pm.

In any event the gathering crowds waited patiently, relaxing and enjoyed the sunshine while others took the chance to make the most of the attractions situated on the park.

Before the procession got under way, busy carnival chairman Richard Shave said he had looked forward to the event.

"Things were a little bit behind schedule because we were still doing the judging, but generally things went well. We had a really big turnout which was great as this was a good day for the town,"he said.

The floats took a route from the roundabout to the town centre before coming to a halt at the recreation ground.

Leading the parade was Suffolk Punch Colony Remus, who came to the rescue of carnival organisers after the committee's lead float developed a fault.

The sturdy horse, which has its home at the town's Museum of East Anglian Life, pulled the carriage of carnival queen, Niki Stockings, 22, and her princesses, Elodie Bridges and Lucy Eglinton .

Fireworks proved a fitting finale to the festivities at the Driver Hire DDT-sponsored carnival, which raised thousands of pounds for local charities and, according to organisers, "gets bigger and stronger each year".

Judges awarded the best overall float to 1st Stowmarket Girls Brigade, but praised all of the 35 entrants who paraded through packed streets.

A float by HSBC bank won the trade entry award and duly received a soaking from a group of young water-pistol snipers.

These good-spirited actions couldn't didn't dampen the day.

Irene Leech, of Millfield Avenue, Stowmarket, has been attending the carnivals for as long as she can remember.

The 42-year-old said: "It's great for the town and the committee has worked hard to put this together. The highlight for me is seeing the Girls Brigade among the winners as I know a lot of their people."

Other winners included: chairman's choice, Abbott's Hall; first adult, MIB Line dancing Club; and first small float, Rainbow Guides.

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