Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in putting together our troupe for the Nottingham Carnival parade on Sunday 17th August. Local people, young and old, put a lot of effort into producing something very special for the event.

The theme for this year’s troupe was Flying Free; best represented by the giant bird puppet-maker Tony Mason created with older people at Abbeyfield’s Millbeck House care home, Nottinghamshire Hospice, Radford Care Group and Melbourne House at Eastgate Care. Betty, a resident at Millbeck House, came out to see the bird soar above applauding onlookers.

“We really enjoyed the procession and the bird looked great. Mum has gone back to the care home with stories to tell the other residents.”

Betty’s daughter

It was fantastic to see the guys from AgeUK’s Men in Sheds project cheering us from the side-lines. Men in Sheds is a project that supports older men who want to get together, socialise and put their practical skills to use. In the run up to carnival they worked with artist Nathan Bainbridge, building the giant snails.

Inspired by New Orleans Mardi-Gras we decorated out truck with giant flowers, made by children from Newstead and Netherfield Primary Schools.

We couldn’t have pulled it off without our amazing puppeteers and performers, dressed in costumes designed by SarRena Kay, Jess Kemp & Stephen Jon. The troupe danced through Nottingham city centre to beats supplied by an incredible group of musicians, led by Samba specialist Ceri Howells, accompanied by Michael Davis & Si Tew.

A few brief rainstorms dampened costumes but not spirits. It was a wonderful day.