Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page

John Meads 2015
Wartime Hospital Parades and Galas

A boxing match during the 1941 Gala sports
On the right is Mrs. S. Giles who was chosen as Queen in 1940, when the photograph was taken, and, probably because of wartime restrictions, appears to have continued in the role in 1941.

Some of the most popular events staged during wartime were the boxing contests. The photograph on the left was taken at the 1941 gala and shows "Art" Elmore fighting L/Cpl Ellis who was stationed here with the Inns of Court Regiment.

In the regimental magazine, published when the regiment had its HQ Squadron billeted here, its correspondent wrote: “For the village gala we promised a party of men to march in the procession, but it was discovered just in time that we to be preceded by decorated prams and followed by the Girl Guides, and to prevent any chance of mistaken identity the project was hastily scrapped!”

However, the squadron did receive a cup for winning the tug-of-war competition.

Mrs. S. Giles, Gala Queen 1940-41

Due to uncertainty about the war situation, the Kettering Hospitals Parade Committee decided not to hold its annual parade in 1940, which led the Northampton Mercury & Herald to publish the following on August 2nd:



Burton Latimer’s decision to carry on with its annual hospital carnival on Saturday, despite the war, was rewarded with complete success. A satisfactory sum was raised for a number of institutions.
The fancy dress parade, on a smaller scale than in previous years, was judged by Mrs. A. Barlow, Mrs. G. E. Gilbert, Mrs. J. W. Coles, Mrs. O. Tailby, Mrs. Jack Harpur and Mrs. H. Haynes.
Following were the awards:
Characteristic get-up with prams, cycles and scooters (under 10), 1 June Wood (The Caravan).
Get-up without prams (under 10), 1 B. Cornelius and D. Bowyer (National Savings), 2 Gerald Baish (Prince Charlie), 3 Gay Robertson (Gypsy Girl).
Get-up without prams (under 16), 1 Jean Read (Alarm Clock), 2 Robert Hill (Arab Sheik), 3 Douglas Ashby and Party (Henry VIII), 4 Gracie Wiles (Dancer).
Fancy get-up on roller skates (under 14), 1 Harry Johnson (Ice Hockey Star), 2 Betty Brain (Gypsy), 3 Mavis Lovett (fancy get-up.
Group on roller skates (under 16) Iris Tyner and Barbara Millward (Roller Skates).
Company turn-out, Boys’ Brigades, Scouts and Girl Guides, 1  1st Burton Latimer Girl Guides, 2 1st Burton Latimer St. Mary’s Boy Scouts, 3 1st Burton Latimer Boys’ Brigade.
Company turn-out, Cubs, Brownies, Life Boys and Sunbeams, equal 1 1st Burton Latimer Life Boys team and 1st Burton Latimer St. Mary’s Wolf Cubs.


Prominent in the procession were Burton Latimer’s Gala Queen (Mrs. S. Giles) and her attendants (Mary Buckby and Brenda Whiteman).
Also taking part were Finedon Old Prize Band, Burton Latimer Fire Brigade and auxiliary service, and Irthlingborough “Rollerdrome” Party.
The Gala queen’s conveyance was lent by Mr. Brock Nichols, Finedon, and dresses for the Queen and her attendants were made by Mrs. M. Wells and Mrs. J. Northern. Mrs. R. J. Boxwell was chairman of the Carnival Queen Committee, with Miss Phyllis Perrett secretary.
The gala officials were: Chairman, Mr. R. J. Boxwell; treasurer, Mr. O. Tailby; general secretary, Mr. C. W. Wittering. Mr. S. B. Baish was assistant parade secretary.
The fete took place in the recreation ground. Sideshows were managed by members of the Conservative Club, British Legion (Women’s Section), St. John ambulance Brigade, Infant Welfare Centre, Britannia Club and employees of Hart and Levy, Buckby Bros., Weetabix and Coles Boot Company. Sideshow officials were: Chairman, Mr. J. Chester; treasurer, Mr. E. Turner; joint secretaries, Messrs. R. Cooper and Don Shaw. Gate officials were: Messrs. S. Giles, F. Clifton, W. Grainger, F. Tailby, F. Shrives, S. Janes, G. Olorenshaw, B. Clipston, W. Tailby, A. Tailby and J. Rickards.
Other attractions in the recreation ground were exhibitions of acrobatics by the Robinson family and children’s sports, for which officials were: Judges, Messrs. W. Hakin, C. Dawson, N. Penny and J. Conquest; referee, Mr. C. Mandeville; starter, Mr. L. York; marksmen, Messrs. F. Dicks, W. Grainger, R. Grainger, W. Ward, W. Neville, P. Toseland, R. Short and A. Court; stewards: Messrs. L. Taylor, M. Cox and G. Ramsbottom; sports secretary, Mr. N. J. Addis.
The proceedings ended with a dance at the Conservative Club.


From the Northampton Mercury 8 August 1941

The postponed Burton Latimer hospital carnival, parade and gala held on Saturday were well patronised. Kettering and Northampton hospitals and other institutions will benefit greatly.

This year’s gala queen was Mrs. S. Giles, who had Miss Mary Bugby and Brenda Whiteman as her attendants. The queen’s car was lent by Mr. Brock Nichols, Finedon. Mr. R.J. Boxwell was chairman of the queen’s committee with Mrs. J. Northern as secretary.

There was a good entry for the customary parade. Mr. Jim Bull was marshal, and the judges were Mrs. O. Tailby, Mrs. J. W. Coles, Mrs. G. E. Gilbert, Mrs. A. Barlow, Mrs. J. Harpur, Mrs. H. Haynes, Mrs. Smith, Major Sir James Ritchie and Captain Kay-Williams.
Their awards were:
Characteristic get-up with prams, cycles, or scooters, under 10: 1 June Wood (Tank Corps). Fancy get-up, under 10 (Burton Latimer only): 1 D. Wilkinson and J. Cossey (Queen of Hearts and Knave of Hearts), 2 Doreen Grayson (Only a Rose), 3 Hubert White (Cowboy), special, Neville A. Sumpter (Indian Chief)
Get-up without prams, cycles or scooters: 1 Robert Clegg (Mikado), 2 Joan Pearce (Remnants, no coupons), 3 Peggy Moore (Ruth, from Pirates of Penzance) special, Doris Buckby (Britannia) and Kitt Berridge (Sweet Peas).
Fancy or characteristic group, under 16: 1 Mrs. Johnson (Britannia and her maidens,) 2 Baptist Sunday School (Princess Chrysanthemum and her maidens), 3 J. Cooper (Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary), special, Baptist Sunday School (Girls on Parade) and Council Infants School (Pied Piper).
Factory group of cycles: Ideal Clothiers (Favourites of a harem).
Adults individual or fancy Characteristic get-up: 1 Miss B. Perry (Hungarian gypsy bride), 2 Mr. F. Mitchell (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Mrs. Loasby (Miser).
Extra class: 1 Weetabix (Merrymakers), 2 Mrs. Lines (Farmer’s boy), 3 Ellen Foot (Little Miss Blue Gown), 4 Angela Butlin (Japanese).
Company turn-out Boys’ Brigade, Scouts or Girl Guides: 1 Burton Latimer St. Mary’s Boy Scouts, equal 2 Burton Latimer Boys’ Brigade and Burton Latimer Girl Guides. Company turn-out Cubs, Brownies, Life Boys and Sunbeams: 1 1st Burton Latimer Life Boys, 2 1st Finedon St. Mary’s Cub Pack, 3 Burton Latimer St. Mary’s Wolf Cubs.
Higham Ferrers, Burton Latimer and Rushden Boys’ Brigades also took part in a bugle band class. Included, too, in the parade were Burton Latimer Fire Brigade, A.R.P. Services, and Ambulance Brigade. Mr. F. Whiteman was parade secretary.
Attractions in the recreation ground included a fun fair, children’s sports and military boxing bouts, and an admirable exhibition of curios staged by the British Legion.
Gala officials included: Chairman, Mr. R. J. Boxwell; Vice-chairman, Mr. W. Neville; treasurer Mr. O. Tailby; general secretary, Mr. C. W. Wittering; darts chairman, Mr. S. Hawthorne; darts secretary, Mr. A. Court.
There was a dance at the Preston Hall.

The practice of chosing a Gala or Carnival Queen was dropped after 1941 but this did not mean that no parades were held. It was still necessary to raise money for the hospitals etc. and, in addition to the national war weapons week fund-raising efforts, the town still mounted its morale-boosting parades each year.

The following is from the Northampton Mercury 7th August 1942 which had reported the opening of the Urban District Council's new offices at The Poplars.

... The opening ceremony took place during Burton Latimer's annual gala day from which local hospitals and other charities will benefit


A feature of the gala was a fancy dress parade supported by a strong turn-out of Sea Cadets, N.F.S. and A.R.P. personnel, nurses,
Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. Music was provided by the combined Rothwell Albion and Mission Bands.
The fancy dress classes were judged by Mrs. O. Tailby, Mrs. A. Barlow, Mrs. A. Phillips, Mrs. G.F.Gilbert, Mrs. J. Harpur and Mrs. H. Haynes.
The awards were: Parambulators etc: 1 June Wood (Tank Corps), 2 K. Riley (Lost my soap coupons). Children under 16: 1 M. Hone (Parrot), 2 D Heels (Fairy), 3 P. Mason (Minstrel boy), 4 S. Torlot (Moth and flame); consolation B. Hicks (Swiss girl), Pat Torlot (Modern minstrel boy), M. Tanner (Oliver Twist), F. Oliver (Pierott), J. Burgess (Coupon free). Individual fancy or characteristic costume: 1 F. Mitchell (Pantomime prince), 2 Mrs. S. Loasby (Old fashioned woman doing bit for war); special Mr. J. Sanders (Old Mother Riley and Kitty). Youth groups: 1 Kettering Sea Scouts, 2 Burton Latimer Girl Guides, 3 Burton Latimer Scouts; special: Burton Latimer Council School. Other attractions included: Children's sports, N.F.S. competitions, a fun fair, and an entertainment by the Reg Civil School of Dancing.

The following year in the Northampton Mercury of 6th August 1943:


A large entry of children in artistically designed attire was a feature of a fancy dress parade held in connection with Burton Latimer’s annual Hospital Carnival on Saturday.

The parade, which was headed by the combined Rothwell Albion and Mission Bands and members of the Home Guard was judged by Mrs. R. J. Mackintosh, Mrs. O. Tailby, Mrs. A. Phillips (Desborough), Mrs. A. Barlow, Mrs. H. Haynes, Mrs. G. E. Gilbert and Mrs. J. Harper. The awards were: Characteristic get-up with prams and cycles: 1 C. Lyman (Norwegian lady), Jill Loomes (Nippy), 3 Wendy Parnell (Coronation Bells), 4 K. Webster (Olympic Games)
Characteristic get- up with prams, cycles and scooters: 1 June Wood (R.A.F. Transport) Get-up without prams, under 16: 1 Dorothy Heels (Indian), 2 June Ward (Romany Lass). 2 A. Mobbs (Things of the Past).
Fancy or characteristic group: 1 E. W. Cossey and party (Fairy-tale Land), Gwen Smith and party (July, August and September).
Adults’ individual fancy or characteristic get-up: 1 F. Mitchell (Strolling Player)
Company turn out: 1 Burton Latimer (light), 2 F. W. Thompson, 3 Burton Latimer Girl Guides.
Tradesmen’s turnout: horse drawn vehicle (heavy): 1 Weetabix, Burton Latimer; (light): 1 P. W. Thompson (Broughton).
Private horse-drawn turn-out, buggies or traps: 1 Kettering Cooperative Society, 2 E. P. Cooper, Islip
Best condition and elderly working horse: 1 Burton Latimer Urban District Council.
Riding classes: over 16: 1 S. Wallis, Barton Seagrave. 2 J. Bannister. Under 16: 1 Barbara Young, Kettering. 2 Jean Anderson, Kettering: Special: Patricia Walsh, Barton Seagrave.
The fete, which took place in the paddock at The Poplars, was attended by a large crowd. A feature was a model aircraft show, which included a collection of planes lent by Mr S. J. Hornsby and mostly made by Mr. D. J. Hornsby.
The competitive classes resulted: Scale model four-engine plane, 1 P. Taylor, 2 D. Hornsby, 3 Gunner Thorne; two-engine plane: 1 D. Hornsby, 2 J. Clipstone; single-engine plane: 1 P. Taylor, 2 and 3 D. Hornsby: any type open to Burton Latimer children: 1, 2 and 3: G. Dixon.
A large model of a “Fortress” lent by Mr. E. T. Bird was greatly admired.

Other attractions were an entertainment by students of the Reg Civil School of Dancing, a light trailer- pump competition for the N.F.S., men’s and women’s ankle competition, children’s sports, a fun-fair and dancing.

The following year the Northampton Mercury dated 11 August 1944 reported:


A colourful fancy dress parade was a feature of Burton Latimer’s annual fete and carnival held on Saturday in aid of hospitals. The judges were Mrs. H. Pearson Cooper, Mrs. A. Marlow, Mrs. M. Haynes, Mrs. G. E. Gilbert, Mrs. J. L. Harpur, Mrs. O. Tailby, Mr. W. O’Neil and Mr. J. Haddon.
Winners were:
Fancy get-up, 1 Peggy Grey (Little Miss Muffet), 2 Fay Chester (Hawaiian), 3 Janet Griffiths (Gypsy).
Characteristic get-up with prams etc: 1 Margaret Hone (Parrot), 2 D. Heels (Fairy), 3 Jean Palfrey (Safety First).
Get-up with prams: 1 Harrington (Dig for Victory), 2 Clipston (Red Cross).
Fancy or characteristic group: 1 Peter Pan characters, Group, aged four or under: equal 1 Kathleen Barker (Wounded Soldier) and Jean Mason (Nurse).
Company turn-out: Burton Latimer Nursing Cadets and 1st Girl Guides.
Company turn-out (Cubs, Brownies, Lifeboys): Finedon and Burton Latimer Cubs.
Tradesmen’s turn-outs: 1 P. W. Thompson.
Private horse-drawn turn-outs: 1 E. G. Cooper.
Best conditioned elderly horse: P. W. Thompson.
Riding classes: C. Bannister, J. Church, Patricia Walsh.

Also taking part in the parade were the Home Guard, Wardens Service, N.F.S., St. John Ambulance Brigade Nursing Division and Nursing Cadets. The programme included sports, an N.F.S. display and an entertainment by the Reg Civil School of Dancing.

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Sport & Leisure Index