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4th October 2000

Information please on the 'Sheerness Carnival' past & present, particularly the history of the 'Zulus'.


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22nd November 2000

johnbutler@tinyonline.co.uk

....................The Sheerness Carnival was one of the highlights of the school holidays, after which was the seemingly fast arrival of September and return to school. The carnival used to take ages to pass by and the route was thronged with people, both residents and holidaymakers. It seemed to have an enormous number of brass and silver bands in its procession, including the Sheppey Silver Band of which I was briefly an undistinguished member under the bandmaster Mr. Noakes (of the garage family; still then having as a showroom and workshops the old music hall next to the Crown Pub). ............. The Carnival was also distinguished by the numerous number of Carnival Queen floats from other holiday resorts in Kent and beyond with not a baton twirler in sight but some glorious mace throwing from the drum majors. The naval and military bands from the Dockyard and Garrison personnel were always present and a line of pennies was laid along the kerb virtually the whole length of the High Street and well up The Broadway to support the charitable beneficiaries of the Carnival. I think carnival week was launched by the landing of the "cannibals" on the beach near the Beach Field and prominent among them was "Big George" whose real name I don't know. He was a tall man of pugilistic features and a large toothy grin and may have been the leading cannibal. With blacked up bodies and faces and raffia "grass" skirts they were quite scary, if funny, in those less politically correct times. ....................

Editors Notes

August 05, 2002

Libby Tucker

I only go back to about 1948/9 when I entered my first carnival and I've been involved one way or another every year since... the Zulu's then were the soldiers at the Army Barracks and the carnival left then from the army barracks road now the Medway ports entrance road.