Aldbourne Heritage Centre

New Early Carnival Photograph

We were recently lucky enough to aquire this photograph

Horsedrwn farm carts decorated as carnival floats

On the reverse is pencilled “Aldbourne” and I’m willing to believe that – this photograph came from the same source as another showing the fire engine “Adam” being used in a wartime demonstration of firefighting, that photo also had “Aldbourne” on the back in the same handwriting. So we went ahead an purchased this photograph. Upon scanning it to a high resolution we could read that the front farm cart says “BROWN” across the front. It’s not identical to this one which is held by Devizes Museum, which is know to have come from Aldbourne.

Farm wagon with "W. Brown, Aldbourne, Wilts" painted across the front
Farm cart marked “W. Brown, Aldbourne, Wilts” at Wiltshire Museum

So it seems very likely that it really was Aldbourne. So, if we believe that, it seems highly likely it shows Carnival entries. It’s the earliest photo I’ve ever seen of carnival floats in Aldbourne, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of horsedrawn floats before. But if anyone knows any different and has an earlier photo we’d love to see it.

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