Early in 1928 with deep snow Nora and I went on the motorcycle with the Bellamys (Rita, Erdwick and his wife and the children) to Walton Hill with toboggans. Quite a slippery ride on frozen roads to get there, not worth it really.
Then in the Spring the talking pictures came to the cinema, with Al Jolson's "Singing Fool". Nora and I went to the Futurist at Birmingham and waited in long queues for over three hours to see it. It was great. Then the King's Hall put on the first full length talking picture "The Trial of Mary Dugan" which was a real spell-binder and endeared us to this form of entertainment (later named "the talkies") until the coming of television. This was the golden age of the cinema and many of those early films have become classic examples of the cine art with many British actors becoming world famous: George Arliss, Basil Rathbone, Tom Walls, Ralph Lynne, James Mason, Cicely Courtledge, Jack Hulber, etc and including Cedric Hardwicke (Sir Cedric) who in his early years had been photographed many times in my father's studio with his sister Sylvia.
After I left, some new faces appeared on the church choir, notably my friend George Wassell (tenor). On the Easter Monday of 1928 Nora and I went on a long ride on the motorcycle to Llangollen for the whole day starting early in the morning with our packed lunch basket. We wandered round the town and climbed the very steep hill to the "Castell of Dinas Bran".
On the following day we went to Clent and climbed Walton Hill with the motorcycle spending most of the day there with the usual packed lunch basket. This 1928 summer we spent several times in the summer heat with the motorcycle on the Walton Hills.
After March, regular meetings of the carnival committee began to be held in the Congregational hall and different events, concerts, competitions etc. were organised and prizes arranged. One of the events arranged was to start off the week with a great meeting of all the churches, chapels and Sunday schools to be held in the Spout fields on the Sunday afternoon. An evening concert was organised for one night in the Temperance Hall; a children's sports meeting in the middle of the week was to be held on the Lye Cricket Ground; individual clubs were to hold their own events - all these leading up to the grand procession on the Saturday afternoon after judging of exhibits and awarding of prizes.
|In June we had a day at Church Stretton where we travelled as far as
the motorcycle could go up the Carding Mill Valley. Then came the great
week of the Hospital carnival. What a busy time it was for all. There were
events taking place every day following on from the Sunday service in the
Spout fields which many hundreds of people attended. I can still remember
the opening hymn which was "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun".
The vicar, C.M. Stuart King, several of the nonconformist ministers and
the Salvation Army band took part on that lovely sunny afternoon.
Many events were held in the week organised separately by bowling, cricket and other clubs. On the Wednesday evening all the schools marched down the High Street to the cricket ground and it was quite a moving and colourful occasion to see around three thousand children all in fancy dress. Many of the costumes were of paper, for these were the days of poverty before the country had recovered from the disasters of the 1914 war and unemployment was high. The fine weather and the large number of events on the cricket ground combined to make this a very happy evening for everyone.
Bill on his motorcycle dressed for the carnival
Never before (or since) had the Lye cricket ground seen so many thousands of people. The manager of the local cinema "The Temp" had a film made of the whole of the procession and the events on the cricket ground which gave a vivid impression of what a vast affair the schools had put on.
Then came the great day when the procession was to take place on the Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of flags, banners and bunting were placed across the High Street and a remarkable film was made of the whole procession and all of the hundreds of individually decorated pedestrians, which is now in the National Film Archive.
Several short runs into the country were made, into Kinver, Stanford Bridge, Tenbury and the immediate countryside but the motorcycle had to be overhauled and tidied up for the August holiday when all the family were going to Llandudno for a week and Nora and I would be travelling there on it.
There are several photographs of the 1928 carnival procession in Denys Brooks's book.
Forward to Epilogue
Back to 1927
Back to Index
Copyright © A.H.Pardoe and W.D.Pardoe 1991