Roll up, roll up and see carnivals of past

By Sue Austin | Ellesmere | North Shropshire nostalgia | Published:

Roll up, roll up – fascinating photographs giving an insight into how they did carnivals in the of a 1950s carnival have been unearthed as a town prepares to celebrate this year’s event.

John Evans, who was born in Ellesmere, is compiling an archive of his home town.

Among the old black and white photographs is one that he thinks he and his mother might be in.

Mr Evans, who now lives in Welshpool, still has links with Ellesmere and says he wants to preserve the memories of the post-war days.

Young and old took part – can you help identify marchers?

“Too often people’s memories fade and photos get thrown away,”he said.

His collection includes several pictures of carnivals gone by including one of local carnival queens from 1953.

“Each town or village would have a fete or carnival and choose a queen,” he said.

Others show the procession through the town past what is now Mere Motors garage.


Marching bands were part of the carnival process

There is also a photo of mothers with their babies in the Cremorne Gardens. “I think my mother is one of the ladies carrying me, but I don’t know which one she is.”

The Ellesmere carnival of today does not have beauty pageant-style queens, but it does have a young carnival king and queen, chosen at a fundraising disco earlier in the summer who take part in the procession.

This year’s event, on August 26, has stalls and entertainment in the Mere-side Cremorne Gardens from 10am.


The traditional carnival queen has been replaced by a different prize

The carnival procession will begin at noon in Canal Way with the floats and walking fancy dress competitors making two laps of the town. Many local organisations and businesses take part all vying to take the prize for the best entry.

Entertainment including live music then continues by the side of the Mere. The event is run by a small committee which says it is always looking for more volunteers to help on the day. More details can be found on the carnival Facebook page.

Anyone who has old photographs or memories they want to share with Mr Evans can contact him on

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.


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