Around 1,400 turn out for carnival

Cowboys, pirates and Spongebob Squarepants were among the sights at the TV and film themed Ambergate carnival procession.

The spectacle, which forms part of the annual carnvival was nearly a wash out as police assessed safety conditions which could have seen them forced to re-open roadblocks.

NRHN 14-07-12 BE 8 Ambergate carnival, pirates in the parade.

NRHN 14-07-12 BE 8 Ambergate carnival, pirates in the parade.

The rainy June and July had also meant some localised flooding at the Recreation Ground, however only a small roped-off pool was evident on the day, leaving plenty of room for the attractions and stalls that followed the parade.

This year villagers dressed-up and decorated floats in various silver and small screen themes. And as they arrived at the main event the show was opened by Captain Jack Sparrow.

Treasurer of the carnival committeee, Chris Worth, said: “The weather was terrible in the run-up to the event, but fortunately we seem to have been reasonably successful.

“Even in 2007, when we had to use a small strip of land at the top of the rec we still went ahead and this year was going to be no different. However, the rain did start again at abnout 4.10pm, which meant some people were leaving early.

“Overall it was really well supported by the village and was such a colourful procession.”

Five years ago in spite of Alec Dodd’s noble efforts to pump out the flood water, the lower half of the recreation ground was completely inaccessible for the first time ever.

Following a few years of towing bogged-down vehicles off the recreation ground, it was moved to the second Saturday in July in the hope of better weather and therefore firmer ground.

This year, although the Bel Canto choir were forced to pull out because of the weather, many of the other acts still appeared, including hedliners - tribute bandAbba Eyes.

Also performing were the Milford Maids of the Mill and the Long Eaton Militaires.

Estimates suggest around 1,400 people turned-out.

Vice-chair of the carnival committee, Tina Faloon, said: “When the rain started we had just about wrapped up many people valiantly made the effort to get there and support us. The stall holders had a profitable day.

“A few vans got stuck on the field, but people rallied round and gave them a push.

“There were concerns about the safety and visibility on the roads during the procession. If there had been driving rain like we had had earlier that week it would have been called off. “

The carnival in its present form has been going since 1982, when it was called the Ambergate Event.

Prior to then it was organised by the Richard Johnson & Nephew Sports and Social Club Committee until 1981, when it moved to the Recreation Ground.Since then, Carnival has gradually evolved into a week-long programme of activities building up to the second Saturday in July.

This years carnival received support from several local businesses, the local Police and Belper Army Cadets.

However, Ms Faloon saidmore volunteers were still needed. Anyone interested can phone her on 01773 856674.