Godalming Museum, ref: 2377A


This printed paper programme with a colour cartoon cover was published by Eastern Counties Advertising company, who also appear to have been the sponsors for the carnival firework display. This week-long carnival was held from June 14th - June 21st and was put on to raise funds for the Royal Surrey County Hospital (Guildford) Extension Fund Godalming and District Appeal, 1924.

The programme is a 64 page booklet, contains many adverts for local businesses of the day and a programme of "Daily events", including:- an "Animal Show"; a fair; performances by various local brass bands; classical music concerts; a "Fancy Dress Promenade"; an... "OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY, when the Queen" (of the Carnival, not Head of State variety) "will be met in state by the Mayor and Corporation, who will formally hand over the Borough to Carnival Rule".
Also listed; dancing; "illuminated boats"; an "Old English Fair"; a performance of W.S.Gilbert's Musical fairy play; childrens' and adult sports events - cricket, tennis and darts tournaments, tug-of war competitions, a "Great Marathon race", canoe races. The Grand Carnival Procession was to conclude with a "Monster Display of Fireworks" - the programme for this display gives a very detailed description of 25 or more set pieces.

Towards the end of the week a Grand River Carnival was to be held, more dancing, band performances and prize-giving and then, finally, on Sunday 22nd June a Thanksgiving and Dedication Service at the Phillips' Memorial Grounds. The end of the printed programme features a poem, A Brighter Godalming, which runs;

Arise and go with flying feet,
Be there when youth and pleasure meet,
Rich and poor alike will share
In giving what they can spare.
Give to every show you can,
Help the town to lead the van,
To raise the fund for fellow man;
Enter into all the fun,

Rest content when that is done.
Godalming will greet the Queen
Of this happy festive scene;
Down the valley of the Wey,
A merry dance shall end the day-
Linger not, but rush and seek,
Make pleasure reach its highest peak,
In the merry carnival week-
Nor cease, but let the welkin ring,
Give voice, and louder, louder sing,
"A bright and brighter Godalming".

In October of 1924 a cheque for the sum of £7,037 thirteen shillings and a penny (which included the funds raised from the carnival) was presented to the Hospital Fund. Some of that money was raised in an intriguing way - land in Catteshall Road, building materials and labour were donated so that a house could be built, which was raffled for the hospital. Tickets, costing ten shillings were sold during the carnival, with the lure that the purchaser of the winning ticket would be able to "LIVE RENT FREE" in Carnival House, once it was finished.

Godalming Museum has the cheque given to the Hospital Fund, the winning raffle ticket, and a number of photos from the carnival procession.


See more images in 1924, Carnival


Godalming in old picture postcards volume 4, Head, R E (Zaltbommel: The European Library 2001).

Godalming and District Carnival (programme), (Great Yarmouth: Eastern counties Advertising Co., 1924).


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