Keswick Carnival could return in 2022 – but only if local people are ready and willing to give it their practical support.
The event was predated by Keswick May Day before the war but it died out until being revived in 1979, initially by a group of men from the Derwent Club.
They later handed the organising role on to four local women – Joan and Judith Sanderson, Moyra Moor and Trish Richardson – and the quartet continued to stage it annually until 2001.
With no-one ready to step into their shoes, the event went into abeyance and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the last one, although Judith has always wondered if the time would arise when it could again entertain residents and visitors alike.
Posts on internet sites have shown there remains considerable interest in the carnivals and next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.
Events will take place all over the country in June 2022 to celebrate, including a four-day bank holiday at the beginning of the month.
Judith sees it as the ideal year for the revival of a carnival in Keswick, with the Queen’s anniversary hopefully following the end of all COVID lockdowns and people in a mood to celebrate.
She said: “When the four of us finished in 2001, it was getting a bit much for us and people seemed to have other things to do.
“It always was a wonderful day and we were extremely lucky with the weather, having just one wet day in all the time we were involved. It would be ideal if we could get a committee of mums together.
“After all, I imagine many of those who have children at school now would have taken part in those carnivals.”
The event attracted thousands of spectators to watch a procession of floats weave its way round the town centre.
“There were stalwarts who regularly put something special together for the event,” said Judith.
“Some stayed up all night before the carnival putting the finishing touches to their floats and we also had floats from Cockermouth who had their carnival the previous day.
“Businesses in the town were always generous with their support but by 2001 it was getting difficult to find people to help and it rather fell out of fashion.
“It would be marvellous if we could do something for next year and bring the carnival to a new generation.”
We would love to see your photos of Keswick Carnivals in the past so we can create an online gallery. Please email them to [email protected]