Huthwaite Carnivals

Mansfield Hospital & Red Rose Carnivals

Huthwaite Urban District Councillors arranged their first Huthwaite carnival August 1932, intending to1933 Crowning raise funds on behalf Mansfield Hospital. Their next 1933 effort raised £60, when also shown crowning Miss Betty Oxley in becoming the first Huthwaite Carnival Queen.

These spectacular events proved an annual success for many years. Also recognised as a Red Rose or Flower carnival, they could last four days with various entertainments like sports and fancy dress competitions attracting visitors from further afield.

Hospital Carnival Committee 1935

CommitteeMrs J. Truswell - Mr S. Stones - Mr A. Wilkinson - Mr E. Spencer - Mrs Iball
Mrs J. Maltby - Mr Truswell - Mr W. Clark (Sec.) - Mr J. Davis C.C. (Chairman) - Mr J. Iball - Mr E. Oxley
Mrs G. Brailsford - Mrs S.A. Clarke - Mrs E. Oxley

A monumental 1935 carnival saw the Duchess of Portland perform a crowning ceremony.

DuchessCoal Queen1935 & 1937 Queens Retinue

Crash 1937The 1937 carnival held among fields below the Welfare Park sadly came to an abrupt halt when crowds witnessed the fatal crashing of an aeroplane. The reported tragedy came after a passing local pilot had delighted crowds performing impromptu aerobatic displays. Adrian Everley presents one shot of the tragic scene which so far appears to have attracted most photographers.

Happier times would however be annually witnessed through later years, when Huthwaite Carnivals offered crowning title to a Huthwaite Coal Queen. That final ceremony also introduced a few well known national celebrities.

Coal Queen Coal Queen

The year 1951 was particularly recalled by Bill Harrison, who'd clamoured across a very crowded Roker Park (Rec) just to get a glimpse of the guest boxing celebrity Randolf Turpin, the short title holder of world middleweight champion.

Also shared by and showing a young Miss Midge Fox sat front, presented again in 1955 fancy dress costume. She's also seen taking part in 1954, when Sherwood St. Methodist Sunday School floats a nativity scene past the Workpeoples Inn. Same year apparently that actor Derek Bond made guest appearance while featuring in a film being shown at the Lyric

Three wise men would clearly be rather more concerned these days about the health and safety issues of carrying a lorry load of young children. But amid those innocent years a Mrs Dianne Sheppard adds more delightful scenes of the new Queen and her retinue aboard a carriage upon Huthwaite Market Place.


So well organised and widely enjoyed were these Huthwaite carnivals, they set an unmatched example for those similarly held in the adjacent towns of both Sutton and Kirkby. All later merged under one Ashfield District Council, so it seems reasonable to presume, these were combined forerunners of the annually held Ashfield Show that aimed to attract all onto larger grounds of Sutton Lawn since 1981.

Written 14 Nov 11 Revised 09 Feb 14 © by Gary Elliott