There was always a carnival king, queen and jester.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s my husband, Glen, and I were involved in the East End carnival to raise money for the Royal Jubilee Infirmary in North Shields. I was secretary and he was chairman. There was always a carnival king, queen and jester. The king and queen rode round on a lorry in a procession and people threw money into their buckets. There was a parade of horses decorated and other things like that, all to raise money. There were other things too; a Carnival Dance, East End Carnival Concert, Jazz Band Silver Cup Concert and a rifle competition. There were prizes that had been scrounged from different people.
The jazz bands came from all over to enter the competition but ‘The Pearlies’ were the East End Carnival Jazz Band. They had kazoos, submarines that they hummed – they were extremely good. They had somebody who had been in the army to train them. They could hum in two parts, he had them that well trained.
When everything was over we went to the Town Hall to count the donations. There was a big horse-shoe table and all the boxes were emptied there and we counted all the money up. Then it was locked in a cell in the police station (on the corner of Howard Street) until it was banked.
We were made honorary members of the hospital for our work and this entitled us to visit at any time. (I was very glad to use it when my mother was in hospital, I could just show it and I got in).