On Bank Holiday Monday Ninfield Village became the centre for motor racing in it’s purest form.
Karts and prams of varying shapes, sizes and decoration gathered at the Blacksmiths Inn in readiness for the annual Carnival fundraising event.
Ninfield Scouts, who had just celebrated their 30th Anniversary, arrived in force with five first class homemade vehicles and the challenge was laid down. The first Race was for the juniors, under 10 years, and the youngsters lined up with fierce determination. After a hectic scramble, first over the finish line was Crash Test Dummies – aka Ryan Taylor and Madeleine Sargent, second were the Telford Terriers - Charlie and Archie Telford, and third The Dazzlers - Daisy Wardle and Kitty Horseman.
The Seniors took up the gauntlet and lined up next. A confident group of 11-17 year olds, some in fantastic fancy dress some in serious racing gear, set off for the full length of Manchester Road and back and the crowds craned their necks to see who would get back first. The winners were Insert Name Here.. – Jonathan Masters and Matthews Connor, who have been racing the event successfully since their Junior years. 2nd were Team 13, Tom Shoesmith and Jack Ballard, and a very close 3rd were Sponge-Bob Scouts Eleanor Gausden and Amy Ballard.
Next came the Fun/Mixed Race where any combination of young and old, family and friends was allowed, as long as each contestant pushed the other at some point during the race. New teams suddenly came to the fore. The intriguingly named Citric Cider became a hot favourite on the Tote betting and the tip proved fruitful, they came in first with ease, Danny Kemp being pushed to the line by Mike Squire. 2nd were Last Minute.com - Noah Wadmore and Jack White, and 3rd The Boss- Susan and Oliver Cruse.
Ninfield Parish Council, which sponsored the event, also provided the key to the last event, The Speed Challenge, where contestants could drive their Karts as fast as possible at the S.I.D (Speed Identification Device). The runs were also timed in case of tied mph’s and the winners were Insert Name Here, again showing their prowess in Kart racing with a speed of 14mph. Joint 2nd were Citric Cider and The Curly Wurly, Milly Aldis and Tom Keeley with 13mph and 3rd H&B Rockets Oliver Sargent and William Ashwell with 11mph.
Through all the races, the placed teams received cash prizes and certificates, with the winners getting Conrad Cups. The Best Over All Fancy Dress Cup was given to Batman and Penguin from the Batmobile Kart, aka Asher Martin and Demsey Emson, with the Telford Terrors 2nd, and Maegan Ashwell as MinnieMae Mouse 3rd. The prize for Best Homemade Kart also went to The Batmobile.
For the first time the Carnival committee ran a treasure hunt alongside the Pram Race and 18 participants’ around the Village hid Toy or homemade Cars in their front gardens for entrants to discover on a walk round. Some were very obscure, some obvious, but of all the entrants only three found all 18 Cars. Adult 1st prize went to Mandy White, joint Child winners were Hanna Cruse and the Wadmore Family. Their prizes of cash and a Voucher for The Ninfield Prom/Gig were very kindly donated by the Ninfield Bonfire Society.
The Carnival Committee were very pleased at the turnout for the event and would like to thank Ian and Kathy at the Blacksmiths Inn for all their help, support and kind sponsorship of the food for the barbecue. Huge thanks are also due to Eastbourne Theatres for their Raffle prize donation, Carrolls in Sidley, KAP Eastbourne, Warehouse Light and Sound, Haffenden Roofing and to all helpers who marshalled and generally supported the small and very exhausted committee!
All profits go to helping various Village Projects and local charities, the next big event is Carnival Weekend, 11th and 12th July. If anyone is interested in joining the Committee or giving some much needed help over the Carnival, please contact Sami or Robin on 893699, Lorna on 893644 or Steve on 892161 or just turn up at a meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at the Working Mens’ Club.