A HOUSING developer building a new estate in Wroughton helped bring back a popular carnival.

Bellway Homes donated £400 to the committee in charge of organising the Wroughton Carnival to help ensure it could go ahead after being cancelled last year for one of the few times in its 113-year history.

Thousands turned up to enjoy the festivities, which took place at Weir Field earlier this month and featured racing ferrets, live music and a fancy dress competition.

Carnival committee member Sally Parker said: “We are very grateful to Bellway for their generous donation to help us make sure the carnival could go ahead this year.

“The event costs about £4,000 to stage so this money was a great help particularly because of the year everyone has had due to the pandemic.

“Bellway’s donation helped us pay for the hire of first aid cover, toilets and the general cost of staging the event.”

"The carnival is very special to this area and pulls in people from miles around.

“People have had a very difficult year with the lockdown restrictions affecting everyone so it was great to be able to offer them a day of fun and laughter.

“The carnival was just what people needed. It has been a real boost for local people. This year, more than ever before, the carnival needed to go ahead.”

Social distancing restrictions meant that the traditional parade where floats travel round the village before arriving at Weir Field for the carnival itself couldn’t take place. But the organisers made sure there was plenty for people to do.

Highlights included a fun fair, ferret racing staged by the Fluffy Retreat Ferret Rescue and a petting corner, provided by Chloe’s Mobile Farm.

Radio station Swindon 105.5, which supports the event every year, provided a running commentary and there was live entertainment on stage between 1pm and 6pm with three local bands and two choirs.

The fancy dress competition provided laughs and up to 40 stalls sold food and arts and crafts including hand-made jewellery.

Bellway Homes South West sales manager Christel Hawkins said: “We are always keen to support local community events when we can. The Wroughton Carnival is a well-established and much-loved fixture in the village’s social calendar and we were pleased to be able to help out.

“It is nice to know that the money we donated allowed the carnival to go ahead as the pandemic prevented it from taking place last year. It was great to see the event putting smiles on people’s faces.”

Bellway is building new homes at its Ridgeway Park development, off Marlborough Road.