Gemma’s perspective of the MHWI Carnival float

Market Harborough WI Celebrating 100 years in style!


Its Friday night, the sun has set and it has been raining on and off for the past two hours, I stand looking at our half-finished carnival float and I think what possessed me to take this on. I remember seeing the post months ago online, the possibility of making a carnival float for this year’s parade in Market Harborough, at the time It seemed easy, think of an idea, collect/make the items needed to decorate the float and set it up the day before, simple! Now as I clean the rain of my glasses for the fifth time I am starting to have my doubts but everyone around me is in high spirits and the music system has just blasted into life.

The market Harborough WI’s motto is ‘something old, something new’ and I seriously wanted to base the float on this because that is what we are we do everything from Tai Chi to Cocktails but never forgetting the tea and cakes which is at the heart of every WI meeting! I myself being one of the younger members at 23 I can say this WI really changed my perception of what the group actually was and I have never had so much fun since joining over 2 years ago. I have made some really great friends and was thrilled at the amount of them that wanted to be a part of this celebration float

I spent a large percentage of Friday night (which I am sure several other ladies did as well) my mind whirling over every possible thing trying to make sure nothing had been forgotten, was that chair strapped down? Did I tape up that decoration? Where did the banners go? Has the rain stopped yet? And so on. Saturday morning and my alarm buzzing in my ear came all to quickly and at 7:30am I was back at the float finishing off from the night before the rain still ever present but it had the grace to hold off for a little while as we did the finishing touches. Then it was a mad dash to quickly get changed into our costumes and up to the judging, I arrived to see float after float all lined up along the road with people bustling around getting onto the trucks and getting everything ready, the judges came and went but I had no expectation of winning. Five minutes before we were about to set off everyone on our float suddenly starting cheering I turned around to hear someone shout to me ‘we’ve won’, after the whoops had subsided a little I found out we had actually won first place for our float! Nothing was going to dampen our sprits now as Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ started playing over the speakers the parade set off.

It was great how all these amazing women came together to build this float, there were some stressful times but as the float was going round the town with everyone waving in their macs and umbrellas undeterred by the rain and all of us having an amazing time with ‘Girls just wanna have fun blasting out’ of the speakers it made it all worth it.

Thank you to all the members of the Market Harborough WI that made this float possible, the 13th June 2015 will be one of those years I will never forget.