VIDEO: Thousands flock to the Ashington carnival

Thousands flocked to Ashington Carnival and Flower Show last Saturday (Aug 17).

Around 5,000 people braved pouring rain for the annual village festival that included ABBA and Freddie Mercury tribute acts in an effort to engage all members of the community.

JPCT 190813 S13340701x Ashington Carnival + Flower Show.  -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 190813 S13340701x Ashington Carnival + Flower Show. -photo by Steve Cobb

Sussex Battle of the Bands winners, Speedboatz, played modern cover songs for a disco party that lasted till after midnight.

Kicking-off the show were carnival floats and walking groups, and new to this year was an arena that hosted a ‘terrific’ number of children’s entertainment and music acts in the evening.

Margaret Alford, retired, of Ashington, the main organiser of this year’s festival, said: “Despite the rain every one had a great time.

“People came back in the evening to see the Abbagirls and the Freddie Mercury tribute act with umbrellas and gazebos, a bit of rain wasn’t going to stop them.”

JPCT 190813 S13340706x Ashington Carnival + Flower Show.  -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 190813 S13340706x Ashington Carnival + Flower Show. -photo by Steve Cobb

Children were treated to the amazing high-wire antics of Bernie Bennett, as well as displays from the Zodiacs Dance Troop and Horndean Marching Band and music from the Jazz Smugglers (sponsored by Ashington Autos).

And Saxon Weald were also pleased to present children’s entertainer Tomfooleri, who had the kids in the ‘palm of his hand’.

Chris Clark, 41, a web designer, of Ashington, one of the show’s organisers, walked 26 miles within half a mile of his home on the day, according to his pedometer.

He said: “Tomfooleri, a children’s crowd entertainer - he had the kids in the palm of his hand, he had great control of the children.”

He added: “Margaret Alfred, who organised it all, deserves a mention.

“She worked tirelessly throughout the whole year to make sure the show was a big success.

“Andy Roberts, he organised the stage shows, he deserves one too.”


More than 400 entries were made to Ashington Flower Festival, which filled the village hall with wonderful sights and smells on Saturday (Aug 17).

Cookery classes competed to outdo the flowers for the most delicious aroma. Maureen Francis, the show organiser, said: “The children’s entries in particular were very imaginative and it was a delight to see the animals made of vegetables and the junk models.”

She added: “The flower show was very successful with over 430 entries, which is the highest number for several years.

“The awful growing weather this year didn’t seem to make a difference to the number and quality of the vegetables and flowers.

“Thanks to everyone who helped - from putting up tables to entering the different classes.”

Brian Matthews won the champion cup and highest prize money in flower class.

And Robin Butcher came runner-up and won best exhibit in show ‘for some huge onions’.

The other award winner were: Charlotte McDonald (Novice), Margaret Grimes (Cookery), Greta Meeten (Craft), Kay Webster (Flower Arranging), Janet Gammans (Best Flower Arrangement), and James Newland won the children’s cup and Emma McDonald won the junior gardener award.