Carnival queens join book launch celebrations

Sue Robb, Carnival Queen in 1980 (North Devon Journal)

Posted on: 2 September 2016

Former carnival queens will be reminiscing at a reunion and book launch event at Barnstaple museum later this month.

The event takes place at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon at 7pm on Thursday 15 September. Local author Martin Burridge will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, ‘Barnstaple Charter Fair’, which traces the history of Barnstaple’s Fair and introduces some of the colourful characters and performers of the old time fair shows.

The event forms part of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon’s celebration of Barnstaple Fair over the last 50 years, organised in partnership with the Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Barnstaple carnival queens have also been invited to the event and the reunion is expected to be a fun and informal reflection on their experiences of the carnival. A series of ‘then and now’ photographs of former carnival queens will also be on display.

Executive Member responsible for leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones, said: “This event will be of particular interest to anyone who’s been involved in the town’s carnival or is passionate about the fair. It will be a unique opportunity to meet Martin Burridge, who is an honorary member of the Showmen’s Guild, and will no doubt be full of fascinating stories and anecdotes. All are welcome.”

If you can’t make the reunion and book launch event, you can still enjoy museum’s ‘All the fun of fair’ exhibition until Saturday 24 September. There are also a number of events coming up, organised by the Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society:

  • a performance by local schools and North Devon Sinfonia at the Queens Theatre on 12 September
  • vintage steam locomotive road run through Barnstaple town on 13 September
  • a model fairground show at the museum from 12-17 September
  • vintage fair on the Square from 13-17 September

Copies of Martin Burridge’s book will also be available to buy in the museum shop. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, admission is free.

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Posted in: Leisure