A VERY BRIEF HISTORY  .... 

In the late 1800s and contininuing into the 1900s Burnham celebrated November 5th with a bonfire in the High Street to which were rolled blazing tar barrels. In about 1907/8 there were concerns about safety and it was decided to have the bonfire on a field and  a torchlight procession starting in the High Street and processing to the bonfire field. Thus in 1909 Burnham had its first Torchlight Carnival Procession.

This format continued until the outbreak of World War One ,and the carnival did not return until 1923.It then continued as an evening carnival until 1939, when an afternoon procession was held.

Festivities were cocooned until 1947 and the event grew in size and popularity to become one of the most popular carnivals in Essex.Afternoon events were held on the Mildmay Ironworks Field and there were madi gras type events in the High Street after the procession. In the 1950s a full Funfair was introduced into the High Street and this remained until 1966.

There were problems in this year and the following year an small afternoon procession was organised .1967 saw an Evening procession back,now at the end of September and much curtailed from pre-1966.

Subsequent committees have built that carnival up to what you now see today, with one of the most successful Carnivals in the South East of England.

You can find out a lot more of our history by reading the   HISTORY of BURNHAM CARNIVAL by Raymond Clark and published by BURNHAM CARNIVAL COMMITTEE now on sale at One Place, High Street, Burnham and Burnham Museum, Coronation Road, Burnham. Price 5.

 

Burnham Carnival 1909-2014