Prime Acrobatics members and Equestrienne riders staged spectacular displays in the carnival arena in 2023. All photos courtesy of Anthony Gurr EIGHTEEN organisations received grants from the money raised for good causes at the 2023 Chobham Carnival events. Just under £5,000 was distributed – with grants ranging from a contribution to buying candles for the village church to support for a dance school that won gold for England at a world cup. Carnival association chairman Tim Elwin said the total raised was less than the spectacular £8,359 distributed in 2022 but had returned to pre-COVID levels. “In 2022, we were able to hold both a carnival and a ball for the first since 2019 and people were pleased to come out after months of restrictions on their entertainment and outings,” he added. “Nevertheless, we were delighted with the total we are able to give out this year to deserving community groups and charities.” Five organisations each received £400. They include Woking-based Street Vibes Dance School, which sent 39 pupils to represent England in the Dance World Cup in Spain in June. The team – many of whom staged a display in the carnival arena May 1 – picked up a gold medal, two silvers, a bronze, a fourth and a sixth place from their six dances across the genres of hip hop and commercial. Street Vibes used their grant to help pay the cost of new training kit and make sure their activities are available to as many children as possible. Another group that performed at the carnival, Prime Acrobatics, used its £400 to help take in around 400 children from its waiting list of 1,000. The money is buying equipment for the extra space the club has taken over at its Heather Farm base in Horsell. The Chobham Village Hall committee put its £400 towards the £9,000 cost of repainting the outside of the building, repairing the car park and its rising running costs. St Lawrence Primary School and Chobham Army Cadets received the same amount. Three applicants received £300 – Chobham Festival, Chobham Horticultural and Agricultural Society and St Lawrence Friends Heritage Trust, which supports the maintenance of the two village churches. The festival is using its grant to help stage its Music in Schools concerts this year. The “Ag and Hort” will put its grant towards replacing its showground signs and promotional banner, while the trust grant is helping to repair the electrical system at St Saviour’s Church, Valley End. Grants of £250 went to Woking and District RSPCA branch, Chobham Museum, Quest Riding for the Disabled Association and Chobham and District Lawn Tennis Club. The RSPCA needed help in meeting the cost of helping members of the public who are struggling with veterinary fees. The museum can buy a new gazebo to replace the one that was badly damaged by a gust of wind at the end of the carnival fete, Quest has put its grant towards running costs and the tennis club has been helped in buying a new fridge for its pavilion. Chobham Recreation Ground Charitable Trust received the full £204 cost of replacing the battery in the defibrillator that is available for emergency use at the Parish Pavilion. The Friends of Valley End was able to buy £200 worth of books for the infants school library and Chobham Scout Group received £200 for equipping its new kitchen with crockery and pots and pans. Chobham Country Market used its £170 to help buy a new advertising banner and update its leaflets and business cards. St Lawrence Church put its £150 towards new candles. Finally, the Woking and Sam Beare Hospices charity boutique in Chobham – which dresses the carnival king and queen – received £100 towards the cost of new clothes rails. “Many of the organisations that receive grants support the carnival through running stalls at the fete, being in the procession or providing some fantastic entertainment,” said Tim. “We are particularly please to be able to help them financially.” Most of the money distributed comes the proceeds of the carnival ball, which features a raffle and silent auction of donated items, and sponsorship, stallholder fees and donations on the gate at the carnival fete. We made 18 grants totalling £5,000 in 2023 Return to home page

Veteran performer and magician Ali Cardabra, joined the parade as a distinctive character and entertained with his Punch and Judy show.

The St Lawrence Primary School Maypole Dancers were in the procession kept up the tradition with their skilful folk dance.