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GALLERY: Crowds fill streets for Ellesmere Carnival 2019

By Rory Smith | Ellesmere | North Shropshire entertainment | Published:

Dragons, tribal bands and kilted bagpipers marched through Ellesmere for the town's annual carnival.

Despite a lack of volunteers and staff creating an uncertainty around the event's future, crowds of people turned out on as this year's procession took place on Saturday.

Roads through the town were closed as float after float made its way through the streets to Cremorne Gardens, next to the mere, for an afternoon of fun and an evening of live music.

Pearl Allum, a leading light in the carnival over the years, said the committee had worked throughout the year holding fundraising events to help put the day on and fund costs such as the insurance.

She said the hard work had paid off as residents filled the streets and enjoyed the day.

Dawn Keller, 40, was one of the spectators attending the event for the third time with her 11-year-old daughter Katie, having travelled from Llanymynech.

Dawn said: "We like coming to Ellesmere as it's a lovely town and the carnival is always brilliant.

"There really is something for everyone with all the live music and after activities and Katie likes to see where her grandmother lived."

Katie added that her favourite act in the procession was the City of Liverpool Pipes and Drums Band.

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The event proved especially memorable for three senior citizens who were guests of honour on the Tesco float, which was celebrating 100 years of the supermarket's origins as a market stall.

Joan Walsh, 84, was joined by Jessica Harris and Brenda Chetwood for her spot in the limelight.

Joan, who has lived in Ellesmere all of her life and worked in a former shop that was part of the Black Lion pub, said she was fulfilling a childhood dream when she climbed aboard the carnival float on Saturday.

"It was amazing, we all enjoyed it, me and my friends Jessica and Brenda have all had a brilliant day out," she said.

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"It was a little awkward getting onto the wagon, what with my old knees, but each year we go and watch the carnival and I've always said I'd love to go on one of those floats.

"I had never been on one before and it might be the last carnival this time so I was lucky to get on it."

She added: "It'll be a great shame if it stops. I've been down to the Cremorne and there were crowds of people, it was amazing to see the amount of people there.

"I have really enjoyed it, I felt great going around and seeing everyone – it was a long day and my cup of tea at the end of it was well-deserved."

Wendy Mayer has been a Tesco community champion and helped organise the Ellesmere store's float.

Stepping off the float after the procession, she said: "It was really good and thankfully everything worked out how it was meant to.

"It was great to give the older ladies their time to shine as well. They're all local and have lived in Ellesmere all their life.

"They started coming in to the store once a month for a coffee and we'd sit and chat with them and once I told them I was doing the carnival, Joan said she'd always wanted to go on a float but has never had the chance.

"She said she's had the best of times and really enjoyed it, bless her. We try and do a lot with the community here and this is a great example of it."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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