It was the last day of summer, at least according to the astronomical calendar, although for hardy carnival goers in Barnstaple on Saturday, it probably felt more like the first day of winter.
The town’s 72nd annual fair carnival will certainly go down as one of the wettest, with Storm Bronagh lashing parts of the UK with nearly half a month’s rain in 24 hours.
But despite heavy showers for much of the day, it didn’t quite rain on Barnstaple’s parade.
Brollies were needed for the children’s carnival earlier in the day but had stopped in time for the crowning of carnival queen Sophie Foster by mayor Ian Roome – with mini royalty Lottie-Jane Wall and Hazel Chaplin, and princesses Ruby Hedden and Ayla Piper.
And it stayed dry during the main procession, which set off down The Strand at 6pm.
Crowds were down on previous sunny years, but carnival committee chairman John White thanked those who turned out to support the event.
He said: “We are pleased that despite the awful weather all day on Saturday, the rain stopped in time for the crowning of the carnival queen and the start of the procession.
“We were absolutely delighted with the turnout for the carnival procession, which as in previous years took approximately one hour to go around the town.
“Only a few entrants did not show; the response from social media and comments made by many people who attended have all said how good the carnival was, which was finished off with a lovely display of fireworks in the evening.
“I’d like to thank all the sponsors, supporters, stallholders and carnival entrants for participating in this year’s event and we look forward to seeing them again next year.”
Class 1: The Mermaid.
Class 2: Candy Surprise.
Class 3: Jellybeans, buy one get one free.
Class 4: 250 years of the circus from the Children’s Summer Club.
Class 1 – Junior Organisations: 1, 5th North Devon (Bishops Tawton) Scout Group; 2, 1st North Devon Scout Group ; 3, Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club; 4, Children’s Summer Club; 5, Barnstaple Youth Football Club.
Class 2 – Charity: 1, ND Healthcare NHS Trust; 2, North Devon Young Farmers; 3, Rotary Club of Barnstaple; 4, Inspired by Keira; 5, Dogs Trust, Ilfracombe ; 5, Barnstaple & District Parkinson’s Support.
Class 3 – Floats, Vehicle, Other: 1, Hill/Walter/Family & Friends; 2, Kiddywinks Nursery; 3, Barum Mower Club; 4, St Michael’s Nursery.
Class 4 – Carnival Royalty: 1, Brea Fairy Queen; 2, Par Carnival Queen; 3, Bude Royalty; 4, Bideford Carnival Queen.
Class 7 – Walking Characters: Peter Coates – Mrs Brown’s Boys; 2, Akimbo – Flights of Fancy; 3, Abbey Gateway (Mencap) – Abbey Gateway Goes to Hawaii; 4, Tammy Bennett – The Lone Piper; Pauline Bennett – Jellybeans.
Best in Barnstaple: 1, 5th North Devon (Bishops Tawton) Scout Group; 2, Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club; 3, 1st North Devon Scout Group; 4, ND Healthcare NHS Trust; 5, Kiddywinks Nursery; 6, Children’s Summer Club; 7, Rotary Club of Barnstaple; 8, Barnstaple Youth FC; 9, Barnstaple Musical Comedy & Dramatic Society.