A parade of great memories

WITH memories still fresh in the mind of last weekend's carnival, we take a moment to relive some other golden moments from the town's annual celebration.

WITH memories still fresh in the mind of last weekend's carnival, we take a moment to relive some other golden moments from the town's annual celebration.

Last Sunday marked the 40th year that the Friends of Lowestoft Hospital had organised the event, and during that time a wide range of entertainment has overcome a number of challenging weather conditions to ensure that the show has always gone on.

Entertainment has included fetes at Walmer Road recreation ground, donkey derbies, marching band competitions, appearances from well known TV and stage stars, and, of course, the traditional parade.

Parades previously took place on a Thursday evening, with traders decorating their floats after closing early, but it was moved to Sunday afternoons where it began at The Avenue and Gunton Cliff, before establishing itself at Kirkley Park Road.

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One name that was synonymous with Lowestoft carnival over many of the last 40 years was the late Tommy Turrell. He became a much loved part of the parade and a procession trophy still marks his contribution to the festivities.

Stephen Edwards, of Stubbs Wood, brought in an image of Tommy dressed up as John Easter's mother-in-law in the late 1970s.

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“John Easter used to have a shop in Bevan Street and each week he would put an advert in the paper together with a comment about his mother-in-law,” said Mr Edwards.

Other long-term fans of the carnival include the Ellwood, Burwood and Hurren families. They have enjoyed taking part in the event since the early 70s, at one point winning three years running in their group.

Shirley Ellwood brought in an image of the families together in 1979.

“This was a winner - the year of the child. And what fun we all had making something out of nothing,” she said.

Others to have enjoyed many years of dressing up for the carnival have been the Woods and Feek families.

“My family and I started entering the original parades in 1961, and have taken part ever since,” said Roz Fallon, nee Woods, of Walmer Road.

“Our first entry saw my brother dressed as the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin with our basket on wheels fashioned into a rocket, while I was dressed as a butterfly with my bicycle decorated as my garden.”

Various relatives have taken to the streets with Roz and her mother Margaret over the years, as they have created a wide range of themed-costumes.

Maureen Woods, of Upper Tree Close, said: “We're often asked where we've bought the outfits from but we make all of the costumes ourselves.”

“We always try to recreate our costumes as authentically as possible,” added Mrs Fallon. “The real accolade came though from some Japanese tourists when five of us were in Geisha and Samurai costumes. They appeared, not only taking photos, but also asked to have a picture taken with us.”

Other themes through the years have included Victorians, Elizabethans, Venetians, the Olympics and Cinderella.

“We have many certificates, rosettes and even a couple of shields for our efforts but we have been repaid time and again by the wonderful crowds who turn out and support the parade and ultimately the work of N.S.H.E.B.A who have totally revamped Lowestoft Hospital for local people,” said Mrs Fallon.

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