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A Gala Day at the races

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Prize winning Wordsley women all afloat at Wordsley Gala in 1960

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COULD the weather be on the turn? If so, as we look forward to warmer, sunnier days, Mary Skidmore from Wordsley has provided us with a jolly picture to remind us of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

It was a day at the races in disguise back in 1960 when some Wordsley women stepped out in all their Ascot finery to take part in the annual Wordsley Gala procession. Mary is the young wench fourth from the left, and her mother Victoria Chuter is second from the right wearing a rather extravagant hat. They were suitably enclosed on the back of a lorry which was doubling up as one of the floats.

The Wordsley Gala began just after the Second World War as a small garden party in the village's King George V park and was run by the Old People's Welfare until 1976. The event was then taken over by Holy Trinity Church in 1977 and was renamed the Wordsley Carnival.

In its heyday Wordsley Carnival was recognised as the biggest in the West Midlands with often 70 or more floats taking part. These days the Carnival is restricted to a fun-packed day of events in King George V Park, but hopefully Mary's picture from 1960 will bring back some happy memories of riding the floats in the Wordsley Gala in years gone by.

The starting line-up for the suitably attired fillies who were winners of the prize for the best float at the Wordsley Gala in 1960 are as follows. From left to right, Nellie Willetts, Maude Barker, Mrs. Holloway (seated), Mary Skidmore, Nellie Evans (seated), Mrs. Masters, Gwen Wale, (?), Victoria Chuter and Mrs Willis.

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