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Nov 10, 2017

Brockenhurst Carnival 1st June 1914


Edited: Nov 22, 2017

Just one month from the outbreak of World War 1, Brockenhurst organised a carnival to help raise money towards the enlargement costs for the local Church of England primary school.

Thanks to John Purkess for his local knowledge, insight and supply of the following images and description.


Local Family Grocer Richard Purkess with his float decorated with popular grocery product branding of the day. Monkey Brand seems to have disappeared from our shelves!


The second Purkess family trade entry – The Purkess Bakery, with Hedley Phillips one of the bakers driving the cart


Grandfather R Purkess with his entry - Charcoal Burner taking King Rufus's body to Winchester August 2nd 1100.



The Carnival for the C of E School enlargement June 1st 1914.

By J R Purkess

In 1912 the Church of England school had been enlarged at a cost of £1,840, of which £160 remained to be raised. On the initiative of the trades and working men of the village a committee was formed, chaired by the Rev. Arthur Chambers assisted by Rev. G.C. Williams and Mr. Phillip Russen, as secretaries, to raise this sum.

There was great activity in the village as traders designed and assembled their floats, (15 in all), others designed tableaux (9), decorated prams and cycles, and mums made the fancy dress costumes for themselves and their children.

All had to ready for the Whit Monday Carnival on June 1st 1914.

The route started at the school, in Wide Lane (Sway Road) and proceeding along The Grove (The Rise), along Ober Farm Road (Rhinefield Road) turning around the circle at the Forest Park Hotel, then back to the road that was later named Meerut Road, to the main road and left to Balmer Lawn where the procession turned to go up towards the railway gates. Before the gates it turned down Brookley Lane (Road) to the bank corner where it turned left into Wide Lane and then again went down The Grove, turned right to come up through the village shops and on up to the level crossing to Mill Lane and the fete at Brockenhurst Park.

At the Carnival ground, there was a Pig (weight/name?) guessing competition, tug-of-war, Quoits match, Maypole Dancing and sports with a fair ground atmosphere with a roundabout, shooting gallery and other attractions. Bands played throughout the afternoon and evening, and the Fete was brought to an enjoyable close with dancing.

The total receipts of the Carnival amounted to the handsome sum of £121-1.8d

Sep 26

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