A day of celebration was held in Tilbury last weekend on Saturday 20 July, as the Tilbury
Carnival returned for the local community.
The celebrations and family fun began with a parade of more than 400 people started by Chairman of the Tilbury on the Thames Trust, Stuart Wallace; local MP, Jackie Doyle-Price; and Tilbury’s infamous 17ft tall ‘Tilbury Docker’ puppet.
The carnival procession wound its way through the streets of the town, which were lined with hundreds of people, in a parade of music, dance, spectacular puppets and beautiful silk flags, choregraphed, designed and created by carnival specialists Ali Pretty and Jeanefer Jean Charles with local people.
Led by Tilbury on the Thames Trust, the Carnival was inspired by the local heritage of the area and the importance of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury in 1948. The project engaged with local schools in Tilbury and residents in a programme of educational workshops.
The set of thirty flags were created and used in the parade, inspired by the story of the
Windrush. Some of the flags depict the journey and arrival of the Empire Windrush bringing the first group of Caribbean people to settle in the UK.
Jackie Doyle Price MP said: “It was wonderful to start the parade for Tilbury Carnival. What a glorious celebration it was and it was great to see the community of Tilbury coming together to enjoy the day. I am very proud of the role that Tilbury has played in our nation’s history.
Carnival is a fantastic way of celebrating our connection with Windrush.”
Carnival expert Ali Pretty said: “It has been fantastic to see so many people getting involved to create carnival this year. It has really brought people together to celebrate all that unites us and to remember our history and the rich cultural legacy.”
Cllr Deborah Huelin, Thurrock Council’s Cabinet Member for Central Services and Communities, said: “We’re delighted to have supported the Carnival alongside organisers including the Port of Tilbury, Tilbury Riverside Project, One Community Development Trust and Kinetika. It was enjoyed by Thurrock residents and visitors from outside the borough who wanted to be part of the carnival. As the Thurrock motto says ‘By Thames To All People of the World.”