Carnival Procession Through Benfleet

1980s But What Year?

In the 1980s there was a Carnival Procession through the streets of Benfleet and the photos below were taken in the High Road looking towards St Mary’s Church, which is just behind the trees.  The three storey Georgian style town houses in St Mary’s Close are just visible in some of the photos.

The exact date is unknown but one vehicle has an X registration plate (1982/83 registered) so we can assume that the photos were taken some time after this.

Closer inspection of the photos has revealed some of the names on the floats.  This information is detailed below but can anyone add any names or further details? Also, can anyone pin-point the exact year?

Please click on the photos to view a larger image.

Do you know who these people are?
Ronnie Pigram
The name on the side of this float is Benfleet Thundersley Hadleigh Carnival Court and in the background the red/white vehicle says Hadleigh Marching Militaire on the front
Ronnie Pigram
A marching band - but which? They are carrying a Texas banner, perhaps sponsors?
Ronnie Pigram
The blue vehicle/float the Witham Queen and Court. The float behind states Burnham Band and Majorettes.
Ronnie Pigram
Flickers, the caption board appears to read "Flickers Sun Beds, Will stop you looking like everyone else"
Ronnie Pigram
????pe and Percussion, but what is the first word?
Ronnie Pigram
Thurrock Carnival Queen
Ronnie Pigram
What can this be? The shield shows a sailing boat and the Coat of Arms for Essex and the sash across one young lady could read Hullbridge!
Ronnie Pigram
Is this Hadleigh Marching Militaire?
Ronnie Pigram
Float for the Classic Cinema (now closed down). Advertising the premier of Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan
Ronnie Pigram
Georgette's Juveniles from Canvey Island - Dancing School
Ronnie Pigram
Canvey Carnival
Ronnie Pigram
Canvey Crystals
Ronnie Pigram
Miss Royal British Legion - Waltham Abbey Branch
Ronnie Pigram
Mr Wimpy, followed by a marching band, but which? Does anyone remember the Wimpy Bar in the High Road (1970s) opposite the old pumping station?
Ronnie Pigram
Can anyone help with this one? Police maybe, but the sign on the front appears to read Lifeguards!
Ronnie Pigram
Harold Hill and Harold Wood Carnival Association - Wood Green
Ronnie Pigram
R N A Float
Ronnie Pigram
Very colourful but who are they?
Ronnie Pigram
The banner reads Deep Purple - any ideas?
Ronnie Pigram
Just visible, the letters "Th ... Can anyone help with the identity?
Ronnie Pigram
Unknown float - any suggestions?
Ronnie Pigram
Plaque on the side of this float reads Cranham
Ronnie Pigram
Banner reads "Join the W.I. and Have Fun!"
Ronnie Pigram
Any suggestions what band this is?
Ronnie Pigram
Southend Carnival at the front and behind the next vehicle appears to have the word Desperado's on the front
Ronnie Pigram
This pretty young lady is collecting - but who for?
Ronnie Pigram
Perhaps the refreshment waggon!
Ronnie Pigram

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  • The band was Deep Purple Legionnaires from Wickford. 

    The band played whilst the majorettes were on the float.

    The band master was dressed as one of the seven dwarfs and so was his father as that day both should have been at work and we had to walk past their workplace without them being recognised.

    By Celia Maas (12/08/2017)
  • Hi,

    You’re probably not interested now, but the majorettes in the first picture was called The Bobby Dazzlers, based in Benfleet. Both my sister and I are in the picture!!

    By Lucinda (06/03/2017)
  • Hi all, yes it was HADLEIGH MARCHING MILLITAIRE, I was in the band myself from about 1980 to 82 I think (so long ago now lol). I can’t remember if I was in the carnival or not now. If I was I would have been about 15 at the time. I have shared this pic of us with our bands facebook page and already there is interest in it, maybe someone will come and give some comments too, and maybe join this site too. Keep up the good work all, I love it xx

    By Dorothy Stanley nee Flack (26/10/2013)
  • I think the purple band behind Mr Wimpy may be deep purple show band from Wickford.

    By Tracey Wright (30/09/2013)
  • The photo before the Classic Cinema; The caps and white tunics and the majorettes behind them are reminiscent of the Wickford Band and Majorettes. A long shot, I know !!!

    By Patrick James Jones (15/08/2013)
  • Hi, it was 1981 and I was the Benfleet Carnival queen then.

    By Julie Gray (21/04/2013)
  • We have pictures of this Carnival as well, ours were taken at the corner of High Rd and Kents Hill Rd. Just a small correction, the X registration is 1st August 1981 to 31st July 1982. One of the pictures shows The Classic Cinema Carnival Princess and the float advertising the Wrath of Khan, my mother was a good friend of Ron who was the manager and I can assure you he always advertised the current block buster on his float and as that film released in the UK on 16th July 1982 there is no doubt in my mind that this procession was sometime in July 1982.

    By Ralph (08/09/2012)
  • The Band advertising Texas are The Hadleigh Marching Militaire, not the band in white. They were sponsored by Texas diy stores and I believe they were used on some of their TV adverts.

    By Ann (08/09/2012)

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