All this would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Carnival Committee, Mark Reddaway, Dawn Stevens, Louise Bater, Andy Gilbert, Cindy Squire, Linda King, Meg Hansen, Rupert Brandon-King, Robert Stevens, Jenny Dinnis, Lauren Taylor-Carbis, Alma Knight, Alan Dinnis, Douglas Stevens, Laura Barrs, Donna Lewis, Graham Reddaway and Stephen Doidge, who work all year round to ensure that everything is in place for this remarkable event to occur each year.
Our 2018 President is Mr Alan Cranleigh, who will be getting involved in our events this year with his partner, Ms Sue Bennett.
Devonshire born and bred, Alan has lived in Hatherleigh since 1972 after moving here from Bideford, and has never looked back. Alan has recently taken on the role of Chairman of the Hatherleigh Community Centre, and holds the community spirit of Hatherleigh close to his heart. He feels this spirit has been reflected in recent events, with the townspeople continuing their support of the Tuesday markets despite the plans for redevelopment, and their increasing support of the Community Centre – and of course, reflected in the enormous turnout for the 5am tar barrels year upon year!
Over the years, Alan has been an avid fan of the Carnival, participating in several processions as a walking guy, and even puling the tar barrels a couple of times – his favourite element of the Carnival. He has even judged the floats for the previous four years – a task postponed this year due to his Presidential activities! One of the highlights of Carnival for Alan is dragging the barrels up on the Friday night, a task he has shared with his grandson since he has been old enough. Alan said he is thrilled to have been asked to be President, and we hope he enjoys every moment.
Our Carnival Queen this year is 11-year-old Miss Demelza Brock. Demelza attends Hatherleigh Primary School, and has lived in Hatherleigh her whole life. A member of the Hatherleigh Players and a keen sports and athletics fan, Demelza’s other interests include singing, drum playing at Grade 5, ballet dancing at Grade 2, swimming, and Stagecoach in Exeter. Two of Demelza’s strongest passions include gymnastics, where she has won 4 gold medals in various competitions, and drama – she has performed in shows at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter, and has recently passed her Grade 2 LAMDA drama exam with a distinction.
Coming from a long line of Carnival enthusiasts, Demelza has taken part in the processions on family floats every year since she was 2 months old. Her most memorable float was ‘Stairway To Heaven’, in memory of her Gran Marie Daniel, and was the last float she did with her brother Liam and late brother Joshua. Demelza’s chosen charity this year is Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens.
This year’s Carnival Prince and Princess, Joshua Anstey, aged 4, and Sophie King, aged 5, were announced at Hatherleigh Does Haven, and were presented with their royalty sashes by Alan.
Joshua and Sophie have been friends since they were born with the two families having close connections for many generations. Joshua, who started at Winkleigh Primary School in September, loves farming and helping his Daddy and Grandad with anything he can on the family farm. He is also a keen sportsman and loves any sport. Sophie, who is in Year 1 at Hatherleigh Primary School, loves art, especially junk modelling, and feeding lambs on her grandparents farm. She also attends weekly ballet and swimming lessons.
Joshua and Sophie are certainly no strangers to the carnival scene and are both from carnival families. Joshua was first on a float at the age of 11 months appearing as an alien on a Toy Story float with his cousins. Since then he’s been on a float each year being Crackle from Snap Crackle and Pop, a train driver and one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarves! Sophie was first on a float at the age of 4 months when she appeared as a fairy in a toadstool on a tableaux entitled ‘Garden Secrets’ with her cousins. Sophie has also been on a float every year since. Joshua and Sophie are both very excited to be Prince and Princess and are looking forward to carnival day.
Our 2017 president is Mr Ady Taylor, landlord of the Tally Ho! Ady came from Exeter to take on the role of manager in July 2002 and Victoria, his now wife, joined him a month later. Ady thought he would probably only stay at the Tally Ho! for maybe five years and then return to Exeter, but gradually he fell in love with the place and here he is fifteen years later, now the landlord! Ady loves the many different events that Hatherleigh holds and all the traditions that remain. He warmly remembers his first Christmas Eve in the Tally when Hatherleigh Silver Band turned up and started playing carols; he says it’s things like this and the people that have kept him here. Ady has become a much valued member of the community and is always happy to support local groups and organisations where he can. He feels last year’s new event of live music in the square was a fantastic addition to the programme of events and is once again happy to supply a band for this year. Running a pub is extremely busy, especially over carnival weekend, so Ady has never had chance to really see much of the carnival but what he loves is the incredible atmosphere. We hope that Ady will be able to get lots of help in the Tally Ho! over carnival weekend so that he can enjoy and experience carnival ‘behind the scenes’.
Annie Strawbridge is our 2017 Carnival Queen. Annie, age 15, attends Okehampton College and is a real sports fan. She plays hockey for Okehampton Ladies, netball for Okehampton College and Wildcats in the league, rounders for the College team and in the league, rounders for the College team and is part of the College athletics team where she runs 100m sprint and throws the shot. Annie is also a Young Leader at Hatherleigh Brownies and this will be her chosen charity. Annie was nine months old when she was dressed as Piglet for her first ever Carnival and, until last year, has been in every Carnival since. One Carnival she fell asleep as a chicken on a giant creme egg, and slept the whole way through the evening procession; we hope that doesn’t happen this year!
Annie is really looking forward to being Queen on a float as she cannot remember the two floats that she was on when she was little. Annie’s Mum, Lynn, comes from a large carnival enthusiastic family who along with some other Carnival ‘pros’ will all be dragged in to help. As the Brownies mean so much to Annie and Lynn, they will also be dressing up along with the float on Carnival afternoon. Annie has some great childhood memories of fun times spent ‘carnivalling’ with family and friends in various houses, sheds and garages etc all over Hatherleigh and we hope that she will enjoy all the preparations for this year and enjoys her time as Carnival Queen.
This year’s Prince and Princess are Harry Winearls and Zoe Wonnacott. Our little royal pair are both 4 years old and have been the best of friends since they were born. They have attended Hatherleigh Pre-School together as well as their weekly swimming lessons. Carnival is certainly in the family as Harry’s mum, Sophie, and Zoe’s mum, Nat, were on a number of floats together from about the age of 5 and they too have been friends forever. In a real carnival love story Zoe’s parents, Mark and Nat, were Prince and Princess together many years ago … so who knows where this will lead! Zoe, who started at Hatherleigh Primary school in September, has been on the family crepe paper float every year since she was a baby first appearing as a flower fairy on a tableaux entitled ‘Garden Secrets’. This will be the first time on a float for Harry who took part in last year’s afternoon procession dressed as the butterfly from ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ alongside his little brother Sid. Harry and Zoe are both very excited to be Prince and Princess and are looking forward to carnival day. Make sure you give them a wave!
Our President for 2016 is Mrs Jenny Phillips from Monkokehampton. Jenny’s family moved to Hatherleigh when she was four and they swiftly became Carnival fans and made their first float which Jenny was on at the age of five. Her family made floats for years, then at about the age of fifteen Jenny took on the task of making her own. Jenny was an attendant for the last Carnival King and Queen, Mr Ronnie Hicks and Mrs Eileen Pillivant. She is Hatherleigh Carnival mad and has only ever missed two carnivals – one due to a bad case of flu and the other due to being in hospital following a car accident; although even then she asked her husband Fred to wheel her out and home to see it! Jenny has expertly judged at the Carnival for many years but hopefully she will be allowed to have a year off and just enjoy being this year’s Carnival President!
Hatherleigh has its very own ‘Queen Elizabeth’ this year as our 2016 Carnival Queen is sixteen year old Elizabeth Hutton from Rutleigh Farm. Elizabeth’s family are also the Carnival’s own ‘Royal family’ as we have Mum – Ann, Dad – Andrew and brother – William! Elizabeth has always been a huge fan of Hatherleigh Carnival and has taken part as a walking guy many times, but this will be her first experience on a float. Mum, Ann, says Elizabeth has lots of ideas and is looking forward to helping to make her tableaux. Elizabeth has recently begun her apprenticeship at ECLIPS in Okehampton. Elizabeth’s chosen charity is the special care baby unit at North Devon District Hospital as she was born 8 weeks early and wants to give something back in return for all the loving care that she received.
This year’s Prince and Princess are Heidi and Guy Flowers. They moved to Hatherleigh from Coventry just over a year ago and couldn’t be happier with their new life. Despite sadness leaving many friends and family behind, Hatherleigh now feels like home and they have made many, many new friends here. Heidi attends Hatherleigh Primary school and loves it- she has just moved into Year 4. Guy left Hatherleigh and Highampton preschools in the summer and has joined his sister at big school in reception. They both love swimming and being outdoors as much as possible. They like taking long walks exploring the countryside with their Mummy, Daddy and Penny their dog. Heidi attends the local Brownies group as well as the school choir and plays the ukulele (a potential Ukulele Basher in the making?) Guy loves sports and is very keen to join the Hatherleigh football and cricket clubs as soon as he is old enough. They would both like to thank everyone in Hatherleigh for welcoming them into their fantastic community.
They feel honoured to have been accepted and to be given such a special role in this year’s carnival. They wish everyone a happy carnival.
The committee would like to thank Jenny, Elizabeth, Heidi and Guy for being our 2016 President and Royalty and hope they all enjoy their da
This year’s Queen is Ella-May Jevons. Ella-May joined Hatherleigh Primary in 2013 at the start of Year 6. Only there for one year, she certainly made her mark and was presented with the ‘Spirit of Devon’ Award before moving up to Okehampton College. Ella-May may be a newcomer, but she is a direct descendant of the Pearse family, who opened the first bank and boarding school for farm children here in the 1800s. The monument in the graveyard and Belverdere Castle were paid for by the town’s people in memory of George Pearse, who won the Queen’s shot in 1875.
Ella-May is a member of the Guides, and also the Hatherleigh Players, where she enjoys her passions for singing, acting and performing. She would like to thank the local community for their generosity buying Queen’s Draw tickets, Blakewell Services for supplying the tractor and driver, her attendants Kiara Stoneman, Ross Diepenbroek and Ashlyn Ware for their help going out selling tickets and their families, and her own family for helping to make her float. Your Queen hopes that the weather is kind and that everyone has a great Carnival!
Our Prince and Princess are Holly and Joshua Wale. Holly attends Hatherleigh Primary School and Joshua attends Hatherleigh pre-school. Holly is 6 and Joshua is 2½. Holly and Joshua live on a farm and enjoy going out and helping to feed the calves. Holly loves horses and has begun to learn to ride. She also loves dance and goes to the: ‘Squire Sisters’ school of dance where she enjoys ballet. Holly also enjoys swimming. Joshua loves tractors and animals. Holly and Joshua have been in the afternoon carnival but never on a float and never in the evening, so they are very excited about being Prince and Princess. They would like to wish everyone a happy carnival!
May, Holly and Joshua for being our 2015 royalty and hope they all enjoy their day.
It was with great sadness that our 2015 carnival president, Mrs Gill Davis, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in August this year, aged 51. Gill was an avid supporter of Hatherleigh Carnival being involved all her life as a competitor, a supporter and a judge. She was very much looking forward to being Carnival President this year, a title she was proud to have gained. In the 1960s Gill first dressed up in the afternoon procession and participated in her first evening procession in the 1970s aboard the Sunday School float. Under the guidance of Mandy Wonnacott, Gill completed her first official crepe paper float in 1990 when her daughter, Natalie, was Princess alongside her Prince (and now husband) Mark Wonnacott. Gill’s youngest daughter, Hannah, was one of Natalie and Mark’s attendants.
From this moment on, Gill was hooked and she went on to design and create floats with the Reddaway and Entwistle families year after year, many of which Natalie and Hannah were on. Latterly, Gill also helped the Wonnacott, Dilling, Bater, Squire and King families when her granddaughter Zoe was born and welcomed into the carnival tradition; participating in her first carnival at just seven months old. Gill was indeed a proud Granny to see Zoe dressed as a flower fairy on her first float.
Gill’s presence will be missed by so many on carnival day but those that know her will know that she will be looking down on us all with her “box” of wine in her hand, hoping that everyone has a happy, safe and enjoyable carnival.