THE story behind one of South Cumbria’s longest-running street parades features in a special fundraising talk on Saturday.

Author Graham Whalan will look at how Ulverston’s traditional carnival parade was born at the end of the Victorian era as a means of generating cash for the town’s cottage hospital - in the days long before the creation of the National Health Service.

To mark the event we have a selection of pictures from The Mail archive showing previous carnivals, including the centenary event held in 1999. 

His presentation is part of a series of events held by the Friend of the Coro, to support the work of the Ulverston Coronation Hall.

A spokesperson for the Friends of the Coro said: “In this illustrated talk, Graham charts its origins as a fundraising initiative for local hospital care, its history and subsequent development through the years.”

Doors open at the Supper Room of the Coronation Hall at 10.30am on Saturday, February 29, and the talk starts at 11am.

Mr Whalan has written books on topics such as the Coronation Hall and on the history of South Cumbrian amateur theatre groups.

In 1999 the Ulverston carnival queen was 11-year-old Jenna Croft - but she had plenty of competition as organisers invited previous holders of the title to ride in a vintage bus to help mark the parade’s centenary year.

The parade had been revived in 1972 after a lapse of 12 years and raised £1,200 towards the cost of a new Ulverston swimming pool.

In 1973 the carnival Queen in 1973 was Angela Bell, of Priory Road, Ulverston, and her ladies in waiting were Pauline Benjamin, Rita Hamlyn, Irene Ireland and Ann Lowther.

The parade had a record 112 entries including an inter-pub waiters race of six-man teams in wigs and all carrying a tray with three full pints of beer.

Among the floats was The House that Jack Built, from Broomby; the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe,from the Holy Trinity Playgroup and Taverns Through the Ages from the Licensed Victuallers Association.