Carnival History

"Frome's Carnival, Frome's charity - How can you help?"

The History of Frome Carnival

Mr Alan Bennett together with others who worked at that time for Butler and Tanners, local printing firm and then one of the main employers, founded Frome Carnival as it was then in 1929.
The Carnival began as a Rag parade, with one of the first carts being provided by Butler and Tanner on which a hospital scene was created. The first year raised £50 and the following £60 which was shared between Vitoria Hospital and Queens Nurses.

Frome carnival grew in popularity over the years and aided by the fact that Mr Bennets daughter Hazel met and married Mr Roy Butler M.B.E. he became known as “Mr Carnival” and was well known in the community for his dedication to the carnival charity which was formed to help local people in need.
This same charity continues to this day as a registered charity. The proceeds raised from the activities during carnival week continue to help both local individuals and groups who are in need. Roy and Hazel worked throughout their lives for Carnival and the ethos of charity and communities.

The way in which the money is given has changed a little over the years. Once coal was the main item that individuals were in need of, but we don’t seem to get many requests for coal these days…
Now with the help of our trustees, we have been able to help the Local Hospital with necessary equipment, the local scout group with a water supply at their local camp site and tents, riding for the disabled, play groups and many others who have needed assistance.

Helping Frome residents is still at our core, Social Services and the local Citizens Advice Bureau both approach Frome Carnival Charity Association for help with induvial cases of need and continue to accept requests direct from members of the public, allowing Frome Carnival Charity Association to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Contributing material provided by Frome Past Carnival and Somerset Standard and Frome Times Ken Miller -Frome Rotary Club and Former Chairman of the Frome Carnival Charities Committee

Past Carnival Programmes

1930 Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh ‘An All by Houston Cloth Mill

1931 Miss Morgan’s party of “Whoopee Girls” cheer the procession at Frome.

1933 Multi-National Gathering – Christchurch Primary School representing the League of Nations. (Image from Somerset Standard)

1949 Housewives On Strike – Frome Young Farmers (Image from Somerset Standard)

1949 Practising for the TT Races

1964 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Bill & Pat Ellis