This year’s Hanwell Carnival is June 20th in Elthorne Park and preparations are, believe it or not, already under-way. Our guest blogger, Viv Ellis who sometimes reports for EalingToday.co.uk, fills you in on what is happening this year and how you can help.
Over to Viv…
I have lived in Hanwell for 10 years now and got involved with our local carnival after a plea for volunteers on a local forum.
What I didn’t know – and I bet you don’t either – is that Hanwell Carnival is probably the oldest, continuous carnival in London. It began in the late 1890s when it was all about raising funds for the Cottage Hospital. As the years and two world wars went by, the event floundered but was given the kiss of life by Billy Smart (he of the circus) in 1961 and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since.
Hanwell Carnival now
In 2014, there were 30,000 visitors. And this is nothing to do with the Council – it’s organised completely by volunteers.
It takes place in June every year (third Saturday). But the preparation and planning go on all year round. There are sponsors to find (still looking), ways to raise funding (still trying), and ideas for new attractions for the next year. It’s a never-ending task. Makes painting the Forth bridge a breeze!
One thing we are really proud of is our procession, which kicks off the day in noisy, vibrant style. The procession had nearly died out but we borrowed a de-fibrillator and now it’s quite something. It takes a humungous amount of work. We’ve just started our art workshops (everyone welcome!) where we plan and make costumes, banners and float decorations under the firm but fair guidance of our Art Director, Andrea Jones who studied illustration at Harrow and St Martins. Individual schools and groups make their own costumes etc but the main floats are done by us.
Before I go…you know, the all the plastic carrier bags that get thrown away/recycled each week? This is how we use them.
1. Collated into colour groups, we cut off the handles.
2. These handles are then tied to wire and later “fluffed up” so they look like flowers.
c) Fluff them up
e) Tracey Yarde (looks after the Animal Zone on the day) making our “bag garlands”
Our art workshops (or “Fun with Glue and Glitter” as we call them) are:
from 1-5pm at Hanwell Community Centre, Westcott Crescent, London W7 1PD.
The dates are:
March 7th & 21st
April 11th & 25th
May 9th, 16th & 30th
June 6th& 13th
Facebook: facebook/Hanwell Carnival1
Viv Ellis is a TV producer and journalist. In her spare time she’s part of Team Carnival – the hard working group of volunteers who organise Hanwell Carnival.
Thanks for guest blogging for us Viv. It’s great to know about what is going on in our community and how we can support the fantastic events that make Hanwell and the whole borough of Ealing such a great place to live.