Carnival swings back to golden era
ONE of Teesdale’s longest running carnivals is to go back in time this summer as it celebrates a milestone in its history.
Middleton-in-Teesdale carnival has been running for 50 years in its current guise, and to mark the anniversary this August’s event will have a Swinging Sixties theme.
Before the modern day carnival began in 1963, the village held a summer celebration called the ‘ospital demonstration.
Members of the current committee know little about it other than it was run by the Hospitals’ Carnival organisation.
There is not much ocumentation left about it other than black and white photographs showing the main parade through the village.
There are marching bands but the event appears to be a much more sombre affair than its modern day successor.
The Teesdale Mercury reported in December, 1962, that although the hospital demonstration had folded, there was a demand in the village for a replacement.
A new committee was formed in the Blue Bell Hotel and its members decided to hold a carnival on August Bank Holiday weekend.
Middleton-in-Teesdale carnival has not been held every year since 1963 but organisers want to celebrate the fact that while many other similar events are closing down throughout the country, their carnival has weathered the storm.
Shaun Andrews, carnival chairman, said: “We just wanted to do something a bit different and although there hasn’t been 50 carnivals since 1963, it’s been a modern day carnival since then. And with it starting in 1963, a Sixties theme seems a good idea.”
It is hoped the village’s annual scarecrow competition will also follow the theme with straw versions of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones making an appearance in village gardens from early July.
To help the 50th anniversary carnival go with a swing, Mr Andrews is looking for help from local people. Carnival photographs and general memorabilia from the Sixties are welcome to help the day look as authentic as possible.
The small carnival committee is striving to make the event the best it can be and faces a heavy workload. Volunteers or people with items that can be loaned to the carnival committee are asked to contact Shaun Andrews tel. 01833 641069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.