JUST as the animals went in two-by-two for the Littlehampton Churches Together Noah’s Ark float and walking group, so did the prizes in the town’s spectacular Bonfire Night parade on Saturday (October 25).
The amazing ark was judged best float, winning the Mixed Bunch Trophy and £100, while the marvellous menagerie of animal costumes claimed the second place shield and £60 in the walking groups.
Littlehampton Carnival’s superb float, first seen at that event’s 40th anniversary in July, and with swan ‘thrones’ for the carnival royalty, took second spot in the floats, with a shield and £60, while Worthing Theatres’ Jack Frost’s Frozen Christmas/Aladdin float earned the shield and £40 for third place.
Ashington Festival’s excellent Lego Movie characters won the KC Memorial Cup and £100 as the best walking group, with samba band Beach Bateria receiving the third place shield and £40.
The Wonder Girls, in frighteningly good make-up and monstrous outfits, danced their way to the best youth float/walking group prize, for the New West Preston Manor Nursery School Cup.
Seven visiting bonfire societies competed for the Butlin Silver Challenge Trophy and £250 first prize for the best dressed group.
The Phoenix society, from Lewes, was the judges’ unanimous choice, with Hailsham taking the second prize of £200 and a shield, Eastbourne the third prize of £150 and a shield, Rotherfield and Mark Cross, £100 for fourth place and Mayfield, £75 for fifth spot.
Edenbridge Bonfire Society won the Torch Cup for best banner/banner carrier.
The judges’ final duty was to award the prizes in the adult fancy dress classes, held in the fire station at the end of the night’s festivities. Littlehampton Bonfire Society’s men’s class was won by John Taylor, as a native American indian, with Billy Blanchard-Cooper, as a Tudor lady, second, and Paul Howard, as a steam pig, third.
Sarah Roberts, as a native American indian woman, took first place among the Littlehampton women, Melanie Baker, as a Mexican, was second, and Sylvia Taylor, another native American indian, was third.
In the open matched pairs, Lyn and Del Hastings, of the Phoenix society, won with their superb Baroque outfits.
And there was more success for Phoenix in the visiting women’s class, with Angela Kennard’s Knave of Hearts costume earning her first place and Maureen Burrow’s Baroque outfit placed second. Angela Stenton, of Eastbourne, was third, as a highwaywoman.
Stephen Jarvis, of Burgess Hill, was awarded first prize as best visiting man, dressed as an Aztec indian, and Geoffrey Burrow, another Phoenix member in Baroque style, was second, with pirate Craig Mewett, from Eastbourne, carrying off the third place booty.
Phoenix swept the board in the visiting children’s class, won by Danielle Critchley, 14, in Baroque finery, with more Baroque worn by Grace Wood, ten, in second place and Charlie Wood, eight, the third-placed pirate.
The judges for the evening were Nick Gibb MP, Littlehampton mayor Jill Long and her consort Moira, Arun District Council vice-chairman Andy Cooper and his wife, Alison, former Gazette editor Roger Green, and his wife Helen, Arthur Millard, of the Maltravers Social Club and his partner, Pam Smith.
They were hosted by the East Beach Guest House, in South Terrace, while deciding on the procession prizes.
A specialist judge awarded Doug Williamnson’s Foden C steam tractor the Ted Burchfield Memorial Trophy as best steam engine.