Bradley Stoke Carnival
Picnic on the Green - Saturday 14th August 2021
Under challenging circumstances, the event was the first community, public event put on in 2021.
The planning of the event started in the autumn of 2019 as a carnival, specifically for the 75th VE day celebration to be held on May 8th 2020
Due to Covid and national lockdowns, this event became 'virtual' and the Carnival committee shared resources online and these were used many times (3,840 reached / 1,453 engagements). Houses were decorated and street parties were held. The Carnival committee also shared the lyrics to the Vera Lynn Sing along that took place nationally at 9pm on the 8th May. At this time, memories were collected from this era and were also published online by the Carnival committee. (Credit to Sara Messenger for working hard and getting these together)
However, we still wanted to have a 'real' event for the community to enjoy. The planning evolved into a vintage themed day at the Jubilee green but again was thwarted by Covid and the second date became non-viable due to further Covid restrictions and cases.
A third date was chosen as 10th July 2021 which also fell in National Picnic Month. This seemed a good opportunity to bring together some of the original planning and preparation of the vintage theme (In the form of traditional games) while enjoying an outdoor picnic and hold a simple community event. This also had to be postponed until August 14th
The committee is a very small and worked hard to pull the event together which was further enhanced by Bradley Stoke Radio, live music from Storm Force 10, dancing from South Gloucestershire Chinese Association, Bradley Stoke Zero Carbon story time, Bradley Stoke in Bloom best front garden competition winners prize giving and the launch of the Mayors Scarecrow trail. An Ice cream van and a coffee vendor were on sight to provide hot and cold refreshments.
In keeping with the early planning, the VE day, vintage and community theme, free games were provided on the green in the form of Tug of war, sack race, egg toss, egg and spoon race, human tic tac toe, three-legged race, welly wanging and several hundred young and not so young Bradley Stoke residents had a 'jolly good time'.
The virtual VE day display of memories became a physical display set up in the oak room of the jubilee centre. With the memories printed, a uniform, BSTC remembrance soldier, poppies and the RBL flags completing the exhibit. A book was provided so that new memories could be collected.
Although not all the grant money was spent on a specific VE day event, we hope that both councils will understand the exceptional circumstances of 2020/2021. The committee would like to thank Bradley Stoke Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council for their support.
Catherine Ayers on behalf of the Carnival Committee