Astwood Bank partied all weekend long with a variety of activities taking place from the Friday to the Sunday. Friday night saw all ages ranging from youngsters through to more mature residents dance along to the tunes of the Life of Riley band at this year’s Barn dance. This is now the third year running this event has taken place and it’s become a firm fixture in the events calendar for the Carnival team. As well as the band, local magician Sam Wilson entertained the guests with food being provided by local Indian restaurant Little India.
Friday Night: Barn Dance
Saturday: Carnival Procession and Field
After Friday night the Carnival team were up early the next day busy making final arrangements for the main event of the weekend the procession and Carnival. Floats and a variety of vehicles were assembled ready to leave SE Davis in Edgioake Lane at noon. They then made their way along the streets of Astwood Bank, bedecked in bunting, to the Astwood Bank Primary School where walking floats and marching bands joined the procession. With a theme this year of ‘Music through the decades’, voting had been taking place earlier in the day. Both the vehicle floats and walking groups had been judged by a variety of VIPs including our MP Rachel Maclean and the deputy Mayor Gareth Prosser. The vehicle float voted as best was the entry from Astwood Bank Girlguiding with a Beach Boys theme, and the best walking group entry was from Astwood Bank Primary School, with a theme of Music Icons. In what was a very close decision the overall ‘Best in Show’ award was given to the Astwood Bank Girlguiding entry.
The procession returned to the carnival field where the Carnival Royalty were crowned for this year and the float winners were presented and congratulated in the arena. With near perfect conditions the crowds were entertained all afternoon through a wide ranging list of performances in the arena. The entertainment started with the Lucy Jane school of dancing and was followed by a series of bouts put on by the Full Force Wrestling team. The bouts were interspersed by two performances from the Redditch Music School, a demonstration from KK Fencing from Studley, a cheque presentation for £600 raised at the recent Bollywood Night at the Little India Restaurant, and an amazing flypast by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
During the Carnival Little India presented a cheque in the main arena for an amazing £600 that was raised by running the Bollywood Night this year. A massive thank you to all of the Little India team.
Sunday: Carnival Finale
Sunday saw a new event for the carnival weekend with the Why Not Inn putting on a brilliant Carnival Finale event all afternoon. With bands playing, a children’s entertainer performing, free face painting and sunshine, it was a perfect way to finish off this year’s Carnival weekend. The icing on the cake was that the Why Not team had organised a raffle and raised an incredible £877 that has been donated to the Carnival committee for distribution later in the year.
Ashley Hewitt, Chairperson for the Astwood Bank Community Group, who organise both the Carnival and other events throughout the year, commented: “It has been many months of planning in pulling this together for many people in Astwood Bank. Whether you are a business who supported us, a group who have designed and created your floats, the volunteers who helped serve drinks and food on the day, or just came out and supported the events over the weekend, we want to thank you all for contributing towards what is a truly an amazing community event. We now start planning the 2020 event, but we do need some more volunteers to make this happen again next year. So no matter how little time you can give back to your community please do contact us and we’ll find a role for you that you will love. Just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
We have just had confirmed by The Why Not Inn that today’s raffle from the Carnival Finale hosted by the Why Not in aid of Carnival has raised a staggering £877 which is all being donated to the carnival funds.
Thanks to The Why Not for this fantastic support and all those who supported the event!
Here are some of the carnival team with Andy and Robbie from The Why Not Inn.
We will again have our stall on Carnival Field. Last year was fantastic for raising funds that help us make our village look great!
As well as a wide selection of plants grown by the Astwood Bank in Bloom team and those donated by Botany Bay Nurseries, there will be a wide selection of gifts and produce available at the Astwood Bank in Bloom stall on Carnival day.
The team will also be running a Scarecrow competition where the prize is this fabulous cake which is a mix of real flowers and edible “rose” cupcakes, made by locally by Rachel at Cupcakes and Dreams
Many of the gifts will make perfect end of term teacher treats, or even better a treat for yourself. Most of the gifts are handmade; many are organic and are up-cycled – made lovingly by our very own Bloom Team.
Whether its picture frames, homemade jams, herbs in novelty pots, lavender sachets, novelty waterers, wax melts, or simply plants, the Astwood Bank in Bloom stall is the place to go on Carnival Day. Remember all of the money raised at this stall goes straight back into our community.
Its important to recognise how we are able to do what we do every year. Its because of YOU, our local community – businesses, families, individuals who generously support our events through the year. THANKYOU to you all….we deeply appreciate it and we always welcome those who would like to be involved, in however way they can.
As well as allowing Carnival to happen, the Davis family also support other events through the year, not just for Carnival. We couldn’t put this event on without their generous support through the years.
Putting on Carnival weekend requires wider support and we are looking to have a number of local companies, listed below, who provide significant support.
There are many more individuals and companies who make Carnival and other events happen, not mentioned above but without we simply couldn’t do what we do, from being part of the event, providing event support and advertising in our Carnival Programme.
Just some are shown below!
Now many hands make light work. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT, YOUR TIME, IDEAS AND ENERGY.
Sunday 23rd June saw yet another successful fund raising event held jointly by the Astwood Bank Community Group and the Little India restaurant in Astwood Bank.
The people of Astwood Bank really went to town and joined in the fun at the Bollywood Night by many of them turning up in spectacular Indian dress outfits. Two sittings were held over the afternoon and evening event with hundreds of pounds raised to be distributed later in the year by the Astwood Bank Community Group.
Deborah Bates the event organiser for Astwood Bank Community Group commented “Little India have been a great supporter of our efforts in bringing the community together, having fun, and helping raise money for local groups and organisations. It was lovely seeing families come along to the first sitting, and so many people coming to both sittings having made so much effort in pulling together some beautiful Indian outfits. It is great to have businesses like Little India work so closely with us, and then get raffle prizes from other local businesses such as Manor Wines, The Oddfellows, and the Bank Cafe. Without their support none of this would be possible.”
Work now moves at a pace ready for the Astwood Bank Carnival Weekend, which this year will see a Barn Dance on Friday 12th July, Carnival procession and field events on the Saturday, and this year a Carnival Finale at the Why Not in Astwood Bank.
We are delighted to welcome back Shirley Pipe Band and Redditch Air Cadets Band to our Carnival Procession!
Shirley Pipe Band
Formed well over 50 years ago the band, have a repertoire ofaround 60 tunes, with a wide selection of marches complemented by airs, strathspeys and reels. These are mainly traditional tunes from Scotland and the rest of Great Britain, supplemented by some of their own compositions.
The central part of their uniform is the Hunting Stewart tartan, worn by permission of Her Majesty the Queen. Being of Hunting pattern, the predominant colour is green, with bands of red, yellow, and dark blue.
Redditch Air Cadet Band
216 Redditch Squadron was formed in 1984 and has a long proud history within West Mercian and also the Wales and West region. The squadron is based at the Army Reserve Centre in Winyates, Redditch and operates 50 weeks a year.
With a number of hard working staff and over 30 cadets the squadron has loads of opportunities for its members ranging from flying to shooting to sport, to playing in the band.