THOUSANDS of people were delighted with their day out at Chobham Carnival – “absolutely fabulous”, “wonderful” and “spectacular” were some of the comments made by the crowd and on social media.

The May Day Bank Holiday Monday event again attracted huge numbers from the village and surrounding area with its traditional procession and fete.

The organisers estimate that the attendance was near that of the 2022 record, when the carnival also raised the largest amount in its history.

“We were on tenterhooks at the start of the day, when the forecast was for heavy showers later on,” said carnival association chairman Tim Elwin.

“There was some drizzle when the procession was forming up and some light showers during the fete and arena entertainments were a bit worrying but the weather turned out fine.

“After the initial huge queues at the gates, people were turning up throughout the day, right up to 4pm. Yet again, carnival-goers were extremely generous with their donations on the gates, and I’m confident that the total raised will be really worthwhile.

The theme for the procession was Pomp And Circumstance Through The Ages, which provided a wealth of inspiration for the groups who took part.

Princesses and princes abounded, accompanied by guardsmen in scarlet tunics, and a collection of regal greyhounds was led by their liveried pages.

Surrey Pipe Band was at the front of the parade – along with carnival association president Tony Edie dress as St George – with the Chobham fire engine and five of Alan Greenwood’s vintage appliances at the rear.

Presiding over the procession while riding in John Medhurst’s horsedrawn brewery dray were the carnival king and queen, St Lawrence Primary School pupils Phoebe Penfold and Clarke Phelps.

The Friends of Valley End Infant School won the prize for the best walking entry and were also the overall winner in the parade,

Chobham Scouts built a model Windsor Castle on a pick-up truck win the trophy for the best motorised entry and the best young people prize went to St Lawrence School, which depicted a characters from Alice in Wonderland tales, including a pack of cards.

West Byfleet Guides, Brownies and Rainbows won the best classic entry prize. Greys for Greys – supporting a Surrey charity that looks after older greyhounds – was the best private entry.

St Lawrence School’s maypole dancers opened the show in the village recreation ground, where the carnival theme continued in the arena with spectacular performances by the Equestrienne equine display team’s horsemanship, jousting, sword-fighting stunts.

Horsell-based Prime Acrobatics and Camberley based Street Vibes Dance School members staged skilful performances and terrier and lurcher races added to the variety of entertainments.

There were more than 50 stalls, sideshows and food outlets ranged around the recreation ground and Jimmy Noyce’s funfair added to the atmosphere of the occasion.

“As in previous years, there was magnificent support for the carnival,” said Tim. “The organising committee did a sterling job, clubs, schools and other organisations turned out to provide another great procession, stallholders supported us in numbers.

“And thousands of people again arrived to enjoy the day and spend their money at an event that provides financial help for good causes.”

Committee members were due to count the money donated at the gates yesterday evening (Wednesday), which will be added to sponsorship money and stallholder fees to calculate how much will be available for community grant applications later in the year.