The Voice in your Community

Uttoxeter Carnival, 1977

By Bill Woodier


During the second half of the 70’s planning began for a carnival in Rocester. A couple of men with an interest in photography & more especially, videography thought it would be a good idea to create a video record of the carnival.

The carnival took place in 1977, followed by others in 78 & 79. So, armed with 8mm silent cine cameras, all three carnivals were filmed by the enthusiasts, Les Humphries & George Large.

The Village Hall was booked & each year its carnival would come to life again from a cine projector onto a small screen. They had no trouble filling the hall for this annual event.

But the video on this webpage is Uttoxeter Carnival you say ! Les Humphries was perhaps the most enthusiastic movie maker & had recorded several family events. His daughter was a member of Rocester Toppers who appear in the Carnival; also, being a JCB employee he wanted to record their involvement. So, this video is all down to Les.

How did I get involved ? To cut a long story short, being Rocester born & bred, I became a member of Rocester Through the Years Facebook group. Through that I heard about these videos from the 70’s. Met Les, borrowed his material, added music which I tried to match to the video. Over the Christmases of 2016 – 2018 the carnival videos & other material of Les’ plus some new material by myself, relating to Rocester’s history, were put onto DVD & sold, raising over £1,000 for charity.

Coronavirus restrictions have caused the suspension of the printed copy of the Uttoxeter & Cheadle Voice, to which both Les & I contribute. The online version I thought would be the ideal place to show a bit of video & felt the Uttoxeter Carnival would have the widest appeal.