Headless Cross resident reminisces about Redditch Carnival in the 1950s - The Redditch Standard

Headless Cross resident reminisces about Redditch Carnival in the 1950s

Redditch Editorial 20th Apr, 2019   0

LAST week’s front-page story on Redditch Carnival brought the memories flooding back for Headless Cross resident Pete Harris.

Pete, a member of Redditch Local History Society, remembers watching the annual parade back in the 1950s.

He said he and his friends would stand at the top of Mount Pleasant, watching as the procession went past. They would have pennies and half pennies in their hands, ready to use, as they listened to the noise of the bands coming up Front Hill.

He said he would watch in glee as Royal Enfield motorbike riders led the way in their glistening white overalls.




Soon after the Birmingham Pipe Band would appear, with the noise of its drums sending shivers down his spine.

“We would wait to see the chairman of the Urban District Council and his lady arrive in the limousine,” said Pete.


“The carnival queen would be sitting on top of her throne, high up on a Royal Enfield lorry.

“From the back of the decorated floats we would see stretched hands appear. All pleading for our pennies before they headed to Daisy Gardener’s up the ‘Cross to have a cup of tea and a rest.

“But we were crafty because by remaining where we were, we got a second smack of the cherry as they returned back to the town centre down Mount Pleasant one more time.

“Pennies all gone and silence reigning, the throng traipsed back down Rectory Road for another year.”

Evening festivities would continue in the town, with the annual talent show always very popular, he said.

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