THE GENEROSITY of Nuneaton residents has left organisers of an annual procession delighted.
Members of the Nuneaton Carnival Committee have counted up the kindness of local people who dug deep to give loose change at this year's family event.
They spent hours sifting through piles of coins and were left with £4,687 on the table at the end of the very long day, more than doubling last year’s taking.
In a complete turnaround on last year's town carnival catasrophe, which saw rain pour down throughout the entire procession and the lowest collection in more than 20 years, people were out in their masses to enjoy the sunshine.
Carnival Chairman Robin Thomas was more than pleased to end his final year in the role, which he has filled for ten years, on a high.
"It is fantastic to have more than doubled what was collected during the procession last year," he said. "I was very pleased to see how many people turned out to support the event on the day and help the good causes in the process."
"I think people were delighted to be able to experience the procession in the sunshine and it was also great to see the amount of effort which had been put in by walkers and everyone else involved who truly embraced the 'Britain at its Best' theme.
"It is my last year as chairman and it was nice to see everyone enjoying themselves in nice conditions and I want to thank all of the other committee members and helpers that made it happen. It isn't just a one day job for us, they make my life so easy all year round and I hope it will all keep going for the next 80 years."
This year’s theme was ‘Britain at its Best’ and those watching and taking part were more than happy to embrace the patriotism.
Crowds lined the streets to wave the Union Flag and cheer on every attraction that passed by, including Nuneaton Carnival Court.
For Carnival Queen, Dawn Haffner and her maids Laura-Rose Smedley, Jess Brown and Megan French, it was an honour to feature so heavily in proceedings.
“It was an amazing experience for us and it was especially nice to see everyone really getting into the 'Britain at its Best' spirit and I was impressed with the huge amount of effort made by everyone involved,” said the 16-year-old Queen.
“I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone that turned out to the carnival, days like this wouldn't be able to go ahead without the support of local people.’’
Following the three hour-long procession, fun continued in the Gala Field off Avenue Road and organisers estimate that around £10,000 has been raised by the 30 stalls set up in the ground by charities and organisations.
To find out more about the float and walking entries turn to the first in a series of carnival features on pages 15, 16, 17 and 18.