Oh rats! But Wakes Week carnival is still a winner

Winster Wakes, Fintstone families, Carl, Janice, Jadzia and Charlie Ashlin and Andrew, Nicola, Ziggi and Sian Gilbert
Winster Wakes, Fintstone families, Carl, Janice, Jadzia and Charlie Ashlin and Andrew, Nicola, Ziggi and Sian Gilbert

Competitors gathered for the tug of war at this year’s Winster Wakes had a shock – when they found the rope had been eaten by rats.

But revellers didn’t let the rodents get them down – they simply laughed it off and carried on having fun.

Winster Wakes, the owl and the pussycat, Eve Marsden, five and Cerys Monk, four

Winster Wakes, the owl and the pussycat, Eve Marsden, five and Cerys Monk, four

Carnival committee member Marg Lester said: “The tug of war was scheduled for 4pm, but at 3.50pm we discovered that the rope we use for the event had been eaten by rats. They inspected the rope and said they couldn’t use it.

“It was just too late to get a replacement from anywhere. There were lots of different teams all ready to have a go at the tug of war, it’s a very popular event.

“The rope’s only used once a year and it’s kept in a works out in the countryside, so rats must have got to it.

“Everybody just laughed when they found out what had happened and carried on having fun.

Rope disaster: Dave Frost and Geoff Lester inspect the rat eaten rope.

Rope disaster: Dave Frost and Geoff Lester inspect the rat eaten rope.

“It was so amazing. People won’t forget this year’s tug of war in a hurry.”

However, despite the rodents’ best efforts to spoil the party, the rest of the celebrations went off in style.

Hundreds of people filled Main Street in the dazzling sunshine on Saturday, July 2, for carnival day, the culmination of a week of activity.

Marg Lester said: “The whole week went absolutely amazingly. The big plus was the weather was fantastic. There were things happening every day.

“The floats were the best that I’ve ever seen. They were just exceptional. The village just pulls together in such a co-operative way. The street was packed and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Revellers enjoyed a hog roast, a bar, street stalls, morris dancing, brass bands, fancy dress and the carnival parade during the day, before going to the marquee for the family night in the evening.

At Winster’s famous talent show on Friday, July 1, there was plenty to catch the eye, including comedy turns, banjo players and singers, all hosted by an Ant and Dec tribute act.

The next big date in Winster’s diary is the village’s open gardens event, the Secret Gardens of Winster, which takes place on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.