Hartlepool Carnival still going strong after 95 years as weather holds off for annual parade
The 2019 Hartlepool Carnival was a success yet again at the Headland.
The event first took place in 1924 and this year it was as popular as ever. The crowds flocked to see live entertainment, fancy-dress, stalls, vintage cars, the Houghton-le-Spring Pipe Band, the funfair and the fabulous floats of the parade.
The carnival is funded by local businesses and donations from the community.
The fun began with the traditional Nutty Slack Race, in which competitors must run a quarter of a mile between the New Inn and Gaiety pubs – carrying a sack of coal.
It was won by 24 year-old carpet fitter and rugby player Aaron Donnison from the Fens, for the second year running. The first woman home in the exhausting race was Emma Cutter.
A triumphant Aaron said: “I didn’t think I’d win it. I was up against a couple of big rugby lads. It doesn’t get any easier. It just gets harder.”
Vivienne Corney, eight, was the winner of the under-11s fancy dress competition for her wonderful mermaid outfit, complete with chariot which she decorated herself. She won a certificate and £30.
Vivienne said: “I didn’t win the singing competition, but the judge said I had the best costume. It feels good”
Carnival Prince and Princess for 2019, riding in a magnificent horse-drawn carriage, were Alexia Butterfield and Harry Wood, both 11. Alexia was delighted to be selected.
St Hild’s pupil Alexia said: “At first I was shocked when I heard. When they shouted my name out I felt like I was in a dream.”
Chelsea Lupton walked in front of the floats to set the pace, along with her 10-month old son Harry. She said: “It’s another nice day now the rain’s cleared up. We do this every year. It’s great.”
Shirley Anderson, who was there with her granddaughter Lucy, said: “It’s lovely to see all these people at the carnival and I’m pleased the weather was nice.”
Organiser Kevin Jones said: “Well done to Aaron in the Nutty Slack race. We’d like to thank everyone who supported us and who turned out.”