Picture special: Village custom maintained

Plenty of tractors in the Hartland Carnival parade

The Customs men came in for a bit of stick from the tableaux builders at Hartland Carnival on Saturday.

Farmer John Thorn, who was famously fined for daring to cut the village football field with red diesel in his tractor’s tank, was given the honour of leading the parade around the village.

At one time, it had been feared that the red diesel incident might have dissuaded farmers from lending their tractors to pull floats in the procession.

But they ensured that the village custom was maintained by supporting the event as usual to the delight of several thousand people who squeezed into the village to watch the spectacle.


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As well as digs at the Customs men, other themes for the tableaux included pirates, Harry Potter and even Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World, complete with motto :” You phone; we listen.”

Bideford Town Band joined Hartland Town band in the procession, along with the Buckland Brewer Spinners majorettes.

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But the burning question of the night was: Were any of the tractors running on red diesel? The crowdes who enjoyed the event could not have cared one jot.

Major winners: Blue Riband for Best overall entry in the Walking Classes – ‘Chinese New Year Celebrations’ by Debbie Simmons and friends.

Blue Riband for Best Overall Tableau – ‘Chicken Run’ (Poultry in Motion) by Deptford Wildlife Watch Group.

Tableau Class winners – Artistic Tableau, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean – The Black Pearl’ - Rob & Lindsey Allin & Friends; Children’s Tableau, ‘Chicken Run’ (Poultry in Motion) by Deptford Wildlife Watch Group, Topical Tableau, Chillian Miners, Gawlish Farm & Friends; Comic Tableau, Yeo Valley Rap, Bryan & Kelly Olde & Friends; Small Motorised Tableau,– Prince Harry’s Hot Hartland Harem, Heard & Threlkeld Families; Most entertaining cup winner, Harry Potter and the Wizkids, Guy Allin, family & friends.

Walking Class winners: Under 10s (Pairs) Clowning Around, Tallulah Thomas, Abigail Toase & Megan Pillman; Singles, Amy Winehouse, Jasmine Njie. Adults: Pairs - Comfort People, Marissa Littlejohns & Christine Southern; Singles, Tarka the Otter, Alison Rickman. Groups - Adults & Children, Chinese New Year Celebrations, Debbie Simmons and friends; Adults, Venetian Masked Ball, Bideford Day Centre.

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