Carnival pictures bring back happy memories

Pauline Aylmer and her carnival prince and princesses on board the float
Pauline Aylmer and her carnival prince and princesses on board the float

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Nigel Freemantle’s recent pictures of carnivals in the Stamshaw area of Portsmouth in the 1950s delighted Pauline Aylmer.

The memories they evoked sent her scurrying to her box of old photos to find the occasions in which she was involved.

Pauline lived in Meyrick Road and also fondly remembered Father Alan Talbot of St Saviour’s Church who organised the carnivals.

And Nigel’s mention of Mrs Wimbush, who owned a sweet shop in Twyford Avenue, prompted her to say: ‘What a clever lady she was. She made all the costumes for the carnivals and I always bought my sweets from her delicious sweet shop which was just around the corner from where I lived.’

Pauline was the carnival’s Rose Queen one year and one of her pictures shows her being pulled around the streets of Stamshaw by Scouts with her friend Janet Stanton also on top of the float as her ‘Prince’.

She said: ‘ A fancy dress competition always followed the carnival in the grounds of St Saviour’s, and I can be seen admiring Little Bo Peep – with Father Talbot holding the sheep aloft for all to see. I remember that occasion so well.

‘Another year I was dressed as a huntsman, and my younger brother is also on stage in fancy dress doing a very good impression of Dr. Kildare.’