The River Carnival in Hereford

Saturday 29th April
I was welcomed by the Dean of Hereford at the Apple Pavement outside the West end of the Cathedral, and then walked in procession with the Bishop of Hereford, led by the Town Crier, Jim Kenyon the Mayor, in his robes, the Junior Mayor Tofi Folayan, the Dean, the Sword Bearer and the Liveried Men. We made quite a colourful spectacle!
We arrived at the Left Bank, where the Junior Mayor and Aaron Baldwin, the Chair of Hereford City Youth Council, declared the 2017 River Carnival open. We had splendidly energetic songs from the choirs of Blackmarston School and Lugwardine School, and then enjoyed the wonderful array of stalls, music and activities both at the Left Bank and on Bishop’s Meadow. I was interviewed by Seb Fuller on Carnival PA Radio, and was able to explain the role of the High Sheriff as well as to raise awareness for my theme of tackling loneliness and isolation.
At lunchtime – fortified by some extremely good burgers! – Robert and I watched the colourful (and noisy!) procession from Castle Green, through the City and onto Bishop’s Meadow. Later we helped judge the river floats as they arrived at Victoria Bridge – a wonderfully creative display with mermaids, a pirate ship (and explosions) and a range of decoration and propulsion. The judges awarded the prize to the ELY Memorial Fund float, and there were a lot of honourable mentions.
My warm thanks to Stuart Fox and the team for their outstanding organisation (and to Jo Henshaw for getting me from place to place on time!). The day was a wonderful celebration of Hereford and Herefordshire.