TOP PHOTO: Overall procession winners West Byfleet Guides and Brownies with the carnival king and queen and the parade judge, Surrey Heath Mayor Pat Tedder. Photo by Anthony Gurr. ABOVE: The Surrey Pipe Band gamely lead the procession, as a soggy dinosaur collects money from the watching crowd. Photo by Helen at Chobham Photography.
It rained and rained but the show went on IT rained non-stop all day and there was mud everywhere, but this year’s Chobham Carnival was far from a wash-out. All the entrants arrived to take part in a soggy procession through the village, watched by hundreds of people who were resisting the awful weather. The carnival’s arena entertainment had to be reduced because of the slippery surface but there were more stalls and sideshows than ever before and plenty of smiling faces around the recreation ground. “We were staggered by the numbers who watched the procession despite the rain,” said carnival association chairman Tim Elwin. “They saw some fantastic depictions of prehistoric people and creatures, showing that some massive effort went into making the floats. “Our takings will obviously less than usual but we want to say a huge thank-you to the procession entrants, the stallholders and the performers and, of course, the crowds who put on coats and wellies and came out to support the carnival.” The procession judge, Surrey Heath Mayor Pat Tedder, decided the overall procession winners were West Byfleet Guides and Brownies, who had dozens of dinosaurs large and small in their group. Coworth Flexlands School built a life-size depiction of a terrifying prehistoric sea monster to win the prize for the best walking entry and St Lawrence Primary School’s mini-smoking volcano took the best young people trophy. The weather was too wet for Horsell-based Prime Acrobatics to stage their display but the Punch and Judy was moved indoors to the Parish Pavilion for two shows. A large contingent from Chobham and Dorking Rock Choir staged an energetic performance wearing plastic cagoules – after gamely singing out loud in the procession. Motorcycle riders from the Stannage stunt team were not deterred by the weather as they zoomed up ramps and through balls of fire – and jumped over carnival association secretary Jenny Warren’s car. Many thanks to all those who braved the non-stop rain to take part in the procession and watch the parade go by. Thanks also to those who came to the fete, to the stallholders who carried on regardless and to the volunteers who marshaled the procession and rattled buckets on the gates. Our highly successful carnival ball contributed greatly to the proceeds, helping make up for the reduced takings at the fete. We are currently calculating how much will be available to donate to good causes. Watch this space for an announcement of the application process and the grants meeting.