Olympic celebration at Blandford Carnival
THERE was an Olympic feel to the Blandford Carnival parade on Saturday, when many local groups took the opportunity to congratulate Team GB on its success.
Carnival chairman Lil Jones said she was disappointed to have been let down by two of the larger floats, Sturminster Newton's Just George and Shaftesbury's Revellers.
"But in neither case was it their fault," said Mrs Jones.
"Both entries were withdrawn due to technical issues with their floats, and we were also missing a group of majorettes who had transport difficulties."
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Their absence was well compensated for by Union flags in abundance, and the presence of a number of new entries, including seven of the real life heroes who had carried Olympic torches in the relay across the country in July.
They were led by Blandford torch bearer Jack Delaney and his team of supporters of the charity USupport to which he is ambassador.
Jessica Bick and her friend Georgia Curtis, both aged 12, represented Olympian Jessica Ennis and the Olympic torch to win the junior best endeavour and pairs trophies, and families from Winterborne Stickland and Spetisbury represented a bevy of Olympian competitors.
Team DAG, celebrating the opening of their new shop in Nightingale Court, were among a number of disabled entrants reflecting the Paralympics on their penultimate day in London 2012.
And although Mark Farwell, who has traditionally brought up the rear with his JCB, was unable to attend due to a prior engagement at his daughter's wedding, Malcolm Fowler, pulling the Young Farmers' Float with Olympic Rings and deputising as final collecting vehicle, won the trade section.
Overall winner was Natasha Shaw of Marnhull with her Wessex Circuit entry, Ice Kingdom, and best local entry went to the St John Ambulance Badgers with Bertie Goes Fishing.
Other popular entries were from Magnum Carnival with their Robbery at Ye Old Casino, two year old Lydia Ball with How Does Your Garden Grow, Milldown Primary School with Milldown Airways, and the Poole Buccaneers, whose musket shots helped win the Blandford Rugby Club the trophy for humorous entry when they all fell flat on the ground at every round of fire.
The Carnival Court of Princess Kizzy Miller, attendants Kaylee Lake and Amelia Ball and Miss Teenager Shannon Graves was joined by Blandford Diamond Jubilee Queen Val Cowley, and the parade was also well supported by massed entries from the youth sections of Blandford FC, three bands and two groups of majorettes, and collectors including Rosie Wiles, Mary Federl and Janet Hinton.
Prior to the parade, the annual baby show was held in the Corn Exchange at lunchtime, where Riley Peach, son of Sophie Peach of Rookery Corner, Blandford, was judged overall winner after coming first in the six to 12 month class, and the under six month class was won by Charlie Sweetland and his mum Laura of Westbury Way, who had 28 years ago herself been runner up in the same competition.
Lexie Clease and her mum Donna of Edward Street were winners of the 12 to 18 month class.
The show was followed by the presentation of donations from the proceeds of the 2011 Carnival to the Blandford St John Badgers, Milldown Primary School and the Stour Valley Band in gratitude for their support to the carnival over the years.
Report and pictures by Nicci Brown