Wickford Carnival 1946, preparing for a sport and recreation ground.

With photographs of Queen and Court

We have recently been given a copy of the 1946 Wickford and District Carnival program for the event that ran between Saturday 3rd and Bank Holiday Monday, the 5th. However, the event was more than a carnival and fete, as in recent years. It was also a horse show and an athletics meeting.

In the foreword to the program written by Col.H.W BURTON and Dr. Robert FREW, the joint presidents, “The object of the Fete is to provide funds for a Memorial to the men of Wickford who gave their lives in the War.¬† A public meeting of Wickford people recently decided unanimously that the most appropriate memorial would be a recreation ground, suitably equipped for popular sports, such as football, cricket, tennis, and a playing ground for children.

We earnestly appeal to the people of Wickford, and beyond, to give their whole-hearted support to the committee and helpers, to make the fete a great financial success and provide a fitting memorial to those who so gallantly fought and died that we might inherit the blessings of peace”.

The events took place in the Rectory fields in Runwell Road, now used as allotments.

The horse show had events such as ‘Best Suffolk Mare or Gelding’, ‘Cleanest Farm Horse, Harness and Cart’, children’s jumping competition.

There was a juvenile sports meeting, where boys and girls could enter events such as a 100 yards flat race, tug of war and a blindfold driving race (blindfolded boy as horse driven by girl with string reins!!)

The schedule of the Grand Carnival commenced in Castledon Road, along London Road, High Street and Runwell Road to the carnival field.

The Carnival court was led by the the Queen and her maids of honour:

Queen – Miss Kathleen Clarke, Maids of Honour – Miss Betty Alderton, Miss Gwen Johnson, Miss June Loveday and Miss Doris Newland.

The Mala School of Music and Dancing, by kind permission of the Principal, Margaret Upton, also presented a series of Variety Concerts in a large marquee.

On the Monday a further athletic sports meeting was held on the field, where running, walking and cycle races were held. Prizes consisted of healthy rewards such as beer and cigarettes.

The Carnival Court 1946
The Carnival Court 1946
Mrs Diane Arnold
The Carnival Court 1946
The Carnival Court 1946

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  • Yes I remember those carnivals. We walked from Castledon Road and as a 9 yr old cub it was a long way, but as I have mentioned elsewhere on this website, it was because we were always led by a band, the Dagenham Girl Pipers, or some other band, we used to have local businesses who gave their lorries for floats etc. It was a great day in those days just after those miserable days of the war. I think that was the year I won first prize in the raffle, a N0.1 Meccano set. WHOW!

    By bobcroot (23/05/2017)
  • My nan was the 1946 carnival queen and it is so lovely to be able to see some more pictures as I have only had the opportunity to see one picture of her as the queen. Thank you very much for posting these! My nan was a kind beautiful woman and it looked like she shone as the queen here!

    By Rhiann (13/12/2015)
  • Muriel Stevens was the first Carnival Queen in !937, in the first carnival, she was fourteen at the time. The committee had not realised she was so young, but as they had never stipulated an age for entry the committtee had to allow the selection.  Muriel now lives in Rumney, Cardiff.  I lived on Shotgate in those days. I now live in Basildon. 

    By Gertrude Harris (nee Nathan) (05/10/2013)

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