The history of Riccall Carnival

2002 – The impetus for the first Riccall Carnival was the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, 1952 – 2002. There was an attempt to use as many of the village’s resources as possible.

The Regen Centre – Concert – Friday evening
Stalls, games etc. – Saturday afternoon
The Millenium Green – Open air service – Sunday morning
The Village Green – Picnic and music – Sunday afternoon
The Recreation Ground – Beacon and cannon – Monday night
The Parish Church – Flower festival – All weekend
The Methodist Church – Photograph display – All weekend


Apart from the Monday, this has set the pattern for subsequent Carnivals, sometimes with the involvement of other venues, eg The Institute, the School, and the Public Houses. Each year, the Carnival has had a unique theme.

2003 – The Caribbean Carnival brought colour and rhythm to Riccall, and was perhaps the only theme (so far) not connected to a local or national event. The entertainment on the Saturday afternoon included a visit of a Calypso band.

2004 – In 1904, a local farmer, Mrs. Elizabeth Tomlinson, purchased “Old Glory” for use on Bangram Hill Farm. The planned centenary visit of Old Glory to the village caused the Carnival committee to choose ‘Rural Riccall’ as the theme. A scarecrow competition was introduced for the first time.

2005 – The nation was marking 60 years since the end of the second World War, so the theme this year was ‘Riccall Remembers’, featuring various themed displays and entertainment during the weekend.

2006 – As Riccall school was celebrating 75 years, this Carnival was the only one (so far) where the main Saturday afternoon event was not held at the Regen Centre. The school hosted both that event and the Carnival service in the school hall on the Sunday. A powerpoint presentation was given by the Archives Group. The theme for the scarecrows was ‘Childrens characters’.

2007 – Internationally, the Scout Movement was celebrating its centenary. This formed the theme for the concert and activities at the Regen Centre, the displays at the Church and Chapel, and the scarecrows.

2008 – With the restoration of St. Mary’s Church being the prevailing community project, and the tenth anniversary of the Methodist Chapel being renovated for wider use by the village, ‘Restoration Riccall’ was the theme, celebrating the Churches. There was a display of gargoyles and wedding paraphernalia in the Church.

2009 – In a village which had a railway, an aerodrome and which has a river and roads, ‘Riccall on the Move’ was the theme, dealing with transport.

2010 – 2010 – ‘Recreational Riccall’ was the title, dealing with Sports teams in the village, and also marking the 10th anniversary of the Regen Centre.

2011 – This year we are holding our tenth Carnival, so the title ‘Carry On Carnival’ has been chosen, with village continuity being the plan for the displays and reviews.

And beyond – The Carnival Committee continues to plan ahead, not wanting to use a theme and then find that there would have been a more appropriate year to use it! Future possibilities are:-

2012 is the year for which preparations are being made both for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. The Carnival will move to the first weekend in June (2nd to 4th) to coincide with the National Holiday.

2016 will mark 950 years since Riccall burst onto the pages of the history of England, with the Viking Fleet arriving at the end of Landing Lane, before marching to the battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge. A Viking Carnival will be held.

Leave a Reply