Streets of Leighton Buzzard and Linslade filled with carnival excitement

'It was terrific to see numbers of happy, smiling, laughing and cheering people'

Monday, 12th July 2021, 10:59 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 11:06 am

The streets of Leighton Buzzard and Linslade came alive with the excitement of carnival on Saturday as the community had the chance to lift its spirits after a tough year brought about by the pandemic.

To commemorate the 60th modern carnival, organisers chose a theme of “1962 Revisited” but due to Covid - which forced the cancellation of the 2020 carnival - there was no entertainment at Parson’s Close Recreation Ground.

The procession, run under strict Covid controls, was led by the Senior Princess Poppy Freeman and Princess Charlotte Cox, who were selected for 2020 but did not have the opportunity to perform their duties.

Carnival fun in Leighton Buzzard. Photo: June Essex
Carnival fun in Leighton Buzzard. Photo: June Essex

Carnival committee chairman Mark Freeman said: "Whilst we missed some of the regular participants who had not been able to prepare due to Covid restrictions, we were able to welcome some new faces.

"The standard of the entries was incredibly high, and they were supported by Onyx performing on a lorry for the whole route and by the Fire Service who had a contingent of firefighters and cadets walking the route and collecting as well as two appliances.

"The procession couldn’t have happened without S&J Pierce and Pierce Recovery who provided lorries, support vehicles and their drivers who gave their time to ensure we had a successful day. The volunteer stewards were well supported by the Buzzard Scooter Club and Spartan Scooter Club who manned road junctions to allow the procession to run smoothly."

Mark said one of the highlights was three performers from the Luton Carnival Arts who walked part of the route in full costume. "They were spectacular and having them leading our special procession was amazing," he said.

"After 16 months of gloom and faces hidden behind masks, it was terrific to see numbers of happy, smiling, laughing and cheering people sitting in their driveways, looking out of their front doors, watching from windows and (carefully) lining streets to see the procession pass. Leighton-Linslade was ready for a fun-filled day, and that is what they had."

Judges this year included Margaret Tyas (Carnival Queen 1962), Teresa Knights, Simon Marshall (Rotary President) and Town Mayor Cllr Farzana Kharawala. They had a hard task to select the procession winners. The results were: Section A - Schools: 1st Pulford Lower School; Section B - Open: 1st Dogs for Good, 2nd LB Arts Society, 3rd= Rotary “Yes we Can, BRCC; Section C – Walking/Cycling: 1st Naval Cadet Corps; Section D – Children’s Organisations: 1st TACTIC, 2nd LL District Scouts; Section E – Private Vehicles: 1st The Blues Brothers; Lymbery Trophy for most points – Pulford Lower School; Doreen Rolls Trophy for Enthusiasm – Pulford Lower School.

The presentation of trophies will take place next weekend in a Covid safe environment.

Mark added: "The carnival committee are grateful to all those who took part, helped with preparation, advertised in the programme, distributed the programme, the many volunteers to came forward to steward and ensure we were able to comply with Covid regulations, those who donated goods and services especially Morrisons who provided hand sanitiser and water for the stewards. Also to the Judges, Cllr Farzana Kharawala, Margaret Tyas, Teresa Knights and Simon Marshall and to the Buzzer Bus which provided transport for the judges.

"We now look forward to the 61st modern carnival on July 9, 2022 when we hope to be able to return to a full carnival."

What did you think of the event? Email [email protected]Check out our website later for a photo gallery article on the carnival.

More photos too in the July 13 edition of the Leighton Buzzard Observer.