Who has the oldest Hastings Carnival photograph?

Who has the oldest Hastings Carnival photograph? That is the question we are asking this week, after a lovely 1930s image turned up.

Sandy Dawson found the photograph of her late husband Reg a couple of weeks ago and she hopes it will prompt other readers to send in their own memories to the Observer.

She said: “He was Page to the Carnival Queen. Judging by his size, he must have been about three to four years of age, so the photo must have been taken in the early 1930s.

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“He is pictured holding the queen’s train and he is dressed in wig and breeches – very cute.”

According to Hastings Borough Council, the earliest Hastings Carnival on record is 1923 but it might well have been established before then.

The original carnival used to start in St Leonards, come along the seafront to the Old Town, then finish in Alexandra Park.

The carnival as it is now started in 1969. The council at the time stopped it from going into the Old Town that year, so the Old Towners, in disgust, started their own.

The two carnivals ran side by side for a few years but the original one declined in popularity, while the Old Town carnival continued, and still operates today.

Reg Dawson holding the Carnival Queen’s train at Hastings Carnival in the 1930s

We would love to hear your memories of the carnival and see your photos from years gone by, email [email protected]

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