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Processions have always been a feature of celebrations in Luton. Guild Feasts began in Luton in the late 1400s ad these would include a procession. We have evidence for this in account books held in Bedford Record Office.
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Students will learn a short processional dance using the Olympic flame as stimulus
The aim of this activity is for the children to redesign this carnival programme cover sheet into a modern, exciting, programme.
Find out what archives are and how you can use the carnival archive to discover more about different times and places.
Tasks & suggestions
The Carnival Archive is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery and run by the UK Centre for Carnival Arts for the purpose of creating digital archives of all carnival related activity that takes place in Luton, Northampton, Norfolk and Southend-on-Sea.
The archive aims to preserve collections for the future and provide access to them in the present in order to inspire a deeper level of understanding, enjoyment and interest in the heritage of carnival, as well as raise the exposure and profile of carnival arts and carnival artists. The project began in October 2011.
Jubilee celebrations were popular under Queen Victoria, due to increased communications across the country and the length of Victorias reign (63 years, the longest of any British monarch).
1896 – In Luton they held a procession to celebrate the opening of the Plait Halls. These were a form of indoor market and opened in 1869. These covered the area that is now The Mall. This is an engraving showing the opening of the new plait halls in 1869, you can use this in the CPD stuff but it cannot be published as its not ours. The Plait Halls were where straw plaits were sold that could be made into hats or bonnets.
A description of the event from the London Illustrated News January 30th 1869 procession, with flags, music, and a guard of rifle volunteers from the Town-hall, through George-street and Cheapside, to the Waller-street entrance. The ceremony of opening took place in the Plait Hall on that side, which had been decorated with mottoes beautifully worked in straw, and hung upon the walls, besides ornamental sheaves of wheatstraw, evergreen garlands, and banners.
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Designing, making and wearing costumes is central to the carnival experience and one that is enjoyed by children, parents and teachers alike.
Costume, Dance and Music an overview
Research the history of the streets and buildings along the carnival route of your town or city.
The intention of this project is to reflect on life in the last 8 decades since the Olympics last took place in this Country, to look at lifestyles, dance styles and music.
This resource can be used to open a discussion about the carnival procession or to highlight changes which occur in events and how these changes impact on people’s lives.
The project team consists of four Learning and Outreach Officers and four Archive Coordinators one of each are based in the four partner locations; Luton, Northampton, Norfolk and Southend-on-Sea. There is also a central Luton team consisting of our Project Manager, Creative Technologist and Digital Archivist.
Saturday July 19th 1919 was a national day of celebrations. In Luton, events started with a procession to the Town Hall from Luton Hoo. A photograph of this is held by the museum, they have said they will email it to me soon, this is of a float called Peace Enthroned.
Angry at the lack of jobs (servicemen had been promised that post-war Britain would be a Land fit for Heroes by the government) and the continuation of rationing, some ration books were set on fire and this quickly spread. The result was that the whole town hall was burnt down. Although riots also broke out in other towns and cities on this day, Luton was the only place to lose the whole building.
The Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935 also saw a lot of street processions in Luton.
1939-1945 The Second World War. Carnivals and parades were held during this time to raise money for the war effort.
1945 – The heyday of the street party was VE Day which marked the end of war in Europe.
1950s – St Georges day parades were popular and focused on a parade of Scouts and Servicemen.