Bonsall carnival returns but future is under threat

The week-long Bonsall Carnival kicks off on Saturday, July 29.
The week-long Bonsall Carnival kicks off on Saturday, July 29.

Bonsall Carnival returns this weekend, filled with family fun, but organisers fear it may be the last ever event due to a controversial land dispute.

The week of festivities begins on Saturday July 29, with the crowning of the carnival king and queen and a float procession through the village, complete with drummers, dancers and revellers in fancy dress.

On arrival at Park Bottom, Bargain Hunt antiques expert Charles Hanson will officially open the festival, kicking off a day of salsa dancing lessons, magic shows, a bouncy castle, fairground rides and stalls.

Chairma of the carnival committee Marion Heasman said: “There will be plenty of food on offer in the park and The Fountain café, and the Barley Mow pub will run the marquee in the evening with live music from Pint O’ Mild and the Hannah Faye Band.

“The fun continues throughout the week, with a bike race, treasure hunt, a guided history tour, a football tournament, and a spectacular firework display on Friday, August 4.”

Beyond that point, the future of the event looks more uncertain.

Marion said: “The Diocese of Derby is considering developing land adjacent to the park, which would mean no fireworks, and no parking for performers, stall holders, or our hundreds of visitors.

“Without it, the carnival could not happen, or at least not in the way it’s been happening for the last 90 years.”

Bonsall Parish Council is appealing to the diocese to let it have a say in the future of the area and secure it for public use.

They are backed by residents who have launched an online petition at http://bit.ly/2upCdQw.

For full details of the festival programme, visit www.bonsallcarnival.co.uk.