Cudworth Christmas Carnival 1984-85

In reference to the photo in March 2013 issue, page 20, of tractor with people walking behind on Pontefract Road, it asked if anyone knew what it was about.  I think this was part of Cudworth Parade, 1984.  Dennis Ryall

Cudworth Christmas Carnival

In 1982 John Shellard who owned Animaquaria, now Cudworth Pet Shop and Dennis Ryall who owned Mellor’s News were bemoaning the fact that local people seemed to desert the local shops and go to town at Christmas to do their shopping.  The first week in December being the worst weekend for traders.  That evening John watched "Miracle on 30th Street" and wondered if a Christmas Parade could do anything for Cudworth.  John approached Dennis with the idea and after a long discussion, Dennis said he would provide a Santa, John also agreed to provide a float.  Together they approached Dorothy Hyman Majorettes and they agreed to join in.  After discussion with the local police a date was agreed (2nd weekend in December, couldn't have the first as Barnsley were at home.)  So with two floats and the Majorettes they had a parade of sorts.


John and Dennis had agreed that they would not go down the traditional route of calling a meeting of interested parties and forming a committee, nothing ever got done that way, so they wrote to all the local businesses telling them that a Christmas Carnival would take place on the second Saturday in December and asked whether they would either be taking part or if not whether they might like to make a contribution towards the expenses of the carnival.  The Co-op, at that time fairly new to Cudworth, was approached and asked for the use of the top half of their car park which they agreed to.


At 10am on the second Saturday in December Cudworth shoppers were treated to a display of dancing on the street outside the Star provided by the local school of dancing and a disco struck up on the Co-op car park.  The Police, Ambulance and Fire Services displayed some of their vehicles and equipment along with the Territorial Army and St Johns Ambulance Service.  At lunchtime fifty five floats, small and large assembled at Sunningdale Drive and surrounding streets and took part in the procession which followed the main road through Cudworth to St Johns Rd and turned left circling back to Barnsley Road via White Cross Road and Snydale Road ending up at the Co-op car park where the disco continued into the early evening.  It was estimated that five thousand people turned out for the procession that year and the Christmas Carnival continued for four years after that, one (1984) involving the USAF from Mildenhall bringing a huge model of the space shuttle.


Dennis and John went on to organise the Cudworth 6 Fun Run which also became an annual event and this led to the forming of the Cudworth Community Association which went on to organise an Annual Summer Fair in Cudworth Park and took part in several charity fund raising events one of which was a fancy dress cricket match with the ladies from the knicker factory.  Eventually it went the way of everything run by a committee and the last carnival was a small one in 1986, the Fun Run continued for some years after that.


Maybe if we had something like "Chewin t Cud" the Christmas Carnival might still be an annual event?  Dennis Ryall still has videos (below) of the 1984 and 1985 Carnivals.

John Shellard and Dennis Ryall. 


Pontefract Road Junior and Infants School - Air Raid Shelter - Demolished in 2007

Shelter Photos

Video of Shelter