2010 Clacton Carnival Queen Jenine Davey

"Hi guys!

Welcome to the Clacton Carnival website! My name's Jenine and I'm your Carnival Queen for 2010. I'm 20 years old and born and bred in Clacton, though I had two years out to go to university in Buckingham - which is right over the other side of London, not too far from Oxford. While I was there, I studied for a BA in International Studies and Journalism, because my ideal job would be a television presenter.

Aside from my Carnival duties, you'll probably see me around town with the local Guides, because I'm a Guide and Brownie Leader, and have been since I turned 18. My other hobbies include singing (strictly in front of the mirror), dance (I like to think I can do a bit of ballroom and Latin, but nothing beats rocking out with your friends!) and watching a ton of films. I'm also a bit of a history nut and love to hang out with my friends and family.

I'm really looking forward to this year's Carnival season, where I'll be 'on tour' with my Princesses, Rebecca and Teala, but by far the most exciting bit is going to be Clacton Carnival week itself. Let's just hope we have some nice weather for it, eh?

Looking forward to seeing you all,

Leisure Exhibition:

The first official outing of both myself and my new gorgeous white dress was the Rotary Club
Leisure Exhibition on Saturday 15th May, 2010 at Clacton Coastal Academy.

It was a pleasant surprise to be asked to attend, though I wasn't sure what I'd actually have
to do until I got there. When I arrived, I was greeted by the President of the Rotary Club,
Derek Byford, and taken to see the Carnival Association stand in all its glory before the
arrival of the celebrity guest, Dave Monk of BBC Radio Essex. There was a brief photocall and
a quick hello before we were whisked up onto the stage (some of us found it easier than
others) to open the festivities and I soon found out that my main task of the day was to
accompany Mr. Monk and Mr. Byford around the exhibition and judge the stalls' appearance in
order to determine who would win a prize at the end of the afternoon.

Awarding points for each stand was quite difficult as I wasn't sure if I was being too
generous, but having never judged anything before, least of all under the pressure of a cash
prize and certain people who kept sneaking a peek at my marking sheet, but I think I was
fair. (PS: I'm still waiting on that reward for generous marking, Clacton Carnival!) My stay
at the Leisure Exhibition after we had been around all the stalls was short-lived
unfortunately, but I returned later in the afternoon to peruse a little further with my mum.

Seeing so many charities and organisations represented in the exhibition was a real eye-
opener and I think the Rotary Club should be proud; the day was really well-organised and I
could not have wished for a better first venture as everyone was very friendly and welcoming
to me.

Girlguiding Tendring Rainbow Princess Party:

As a Leader in the Girlguiding movement, I must confess that this event was not as much of a
surprise to me as it was to my princesses, who had their first outing with their dresses on
the 30th May.

We arrived at Weeley Village Hall a little after 3pm to join the youngest section of
Girlguiding, the Rainbows, for a celebratory Centenary party. When we first arrived we were
invited to join in with some games before the girls got involved in decorating plastic
goblets with gems like real, old-fashioned princesses drank from. There were also some very
pretty and intricate card crowns to decorate, but the main event was the arrival of a
beautiful horse-and-carriage from a local stableyard. Everyone got a ride on it, including
myself, Rebecca, Teala and the Guiders who were hosting the event, before we got to head back
inside and have a buffet meal.

Even though I knew what was going on for a vast amount of the time, the afternoon was truly
magical and I will definitely remember the gap-toothed smiles some of those little girls, who
looked like they really enjoyed the event and will remember it for a long time to come. Thank
you to Girlguiding Tendring for inviting us!
Poster Presentation Evening

The day before our first carnival at Brightlingsea, myself and my princesses were asked to
attend the presentation evening rewarding the winners of the carnival poster competition.
When we got to St James' Church, there were boards set up down the centre of the room with
all the artwork on them. We had a look at each of the posters and I was really interested to
see the effort that had gone into each design.

The award winners, their families and, in some cases, their youth group leaders and teachers
began to show up not long after and we talked with them about their work before getting down
to the nitty-gritty of the evening. In turn myself, Teala and Rebecca took the certificates
and prizes from the evening's host, Charles Day, and presented them to the award winners,
some of whom were as young as five and all of whom were very shy indeed!

The presentation evening didn't last as long as I expected it to; apparently two of the main
groups to usually compete decided not to enter this year; but there were still a fair few
people in the hall to celebrate all the hard work of the children and I felt really
privileged to be a part of that.

Brightlingsea Carnival

On the morning of the 19th June, I prepared myself for my first carnival at Brightlingsea. I
was really excited to see our new Queen's float unveilied for the first time, not to mention
nervous about what the day would entail. We were collected from our homes by Debbie, our
chaperone, who then drove us all the way to Brightlingsea with our other escort for the day,
Sarah. It rained a little on and off on the journey and when we arrived, but we didn't let
this dampen our spirits as one of the first things we did when we got there was to explore
the arena where, later, all the festivities would take place. Our float arrived not long
after we did, and we watched it be erected on the field next to Walton's Carnival Queen and
Princesses, before it needed to be covered up during another shower of rain.

Brightlingsea's Carnival Court came over to welcome us to their procession, which definitely
relieved some of the anxiety I felt. We talked a little about our regal duties thusfar, not
to mention what we had left to come, as well as dresses and floats and selections. We ate our
lunch squished into Debbie's car with Sarah and Debbie because the weather decided to be
unkind to us once more, but it brightened up in time for the judging and the beginning of the
procession. The movement of the float was weird at first, but after a small giggle fit I
think we all got used to it and settled into the smile-and-wave routine that was expected of

I was surprised at just how many people turned up to see the procession even in the rain, but
I loved seeing the smiling faces of the children as they watched us go past and made sure to
give most - if not all - of them a special wave. Trying to keep my crown firmly on my head
through the wind and the rain was difficult and I felt more than a little damp by the time we
had stopped and started and got around the whole route, but we had transparent umbrellas and
cloaks to ward off the worst of the weather.

When we returned to the field where we started, each Court was asked to assemble at the front
of the bowling club for judging. The Queens from each court - some as far away as Mersea
Island - sat along the front row while their princesses stood behind them, but it was tricky
for everyone to keep their umbrellas up in such a small space, so I was glad judging didn't
take too long. Teala and Rebecca were awarded first prize in the Princess category, while we
lost out to Coggeshall in the Queen group and Walton in the Float section. We then all headed
indoors for a buffet tea before bidding our farewells to the host Court and heading home

Great Bentley Carnival

The weather for Great Bentley Carnival was a lot friendlier than that at our outing the
previous week as we were blessed with sunshine from the outset. We arrived at Great Bentley
Village Hall (by the railway line) with our float in hot pursuit, but while we waited we,
along with Walton and Coggeshall's Carnival Queens went to go and watch a dance lesson in
progress in the hall. Judging got underway at around midday, about an hour before we were due
to move off, and I liked to think we made an impression on the judges even if we didn't get a
prize this time.

I never realised until that day just how small Great Bentley truly was; our procession was
across the railway line (due to the slow-moving traffic, we were forced to stop across the
tracks, which was worrying!) and down to the central green of the village. It was a very
residential route and we nearly got attacked by some trees on the way, but there were loads
of people packed on either side of the road to watch the procession. We pulled up on the
green at the end of the journey and were asked to alight an open-sided lorry with the rest of
the visiting Queen's Courts, where our awards were presented. Afterwards, we had a little
time to wile away before our Queens Tea, which consisted of sandwiches, cakes and
strawberries which are apparently a Great Bentley favourite!

After our official duties and photocalls were done with, Teala went with her dad to enjoy the
rest of the funfair in the afternoon, while Rebecca and I returned home with Debbie and
Nicky. I think the hotter weather tired us out!

Raffle Ticket Selling

One of our more local duties is selling raffle tickets for the Carnival Association. We do
this by visiting supermarkets in the local area and batting our eyelids to get people to part
with their spare change. When we first arrived for this job, I was a little worried because I
know that my selling skills are rubbish and I was scared that we wouldn't sell any at all in
the three hours we were to work, but my fears were quickly alleviated when we managed to sell
a number of books of tickets, as well as singles, within the first hour or so. Over the
course of the weekend, the Carnival Association managed to sell £300 or so of raffle tickets,
which I like to think we contributed a fair bit too. I hope next time we earn even more money
to benefit this year's chosen charities, St John's Ambulance and Clacton Maternity Unit.

Clacton Carnival Procession

Clacton Carnival Week began on a rather dull and foreboding note, with the weather
threatening rain from the off. I hadn't been holding much hope out for a sunshine-y
procession as it was last year but I was confident (or hopeful!) that it would be a dry
evening. We were picked up from our homes in full carnival regalia at 3:30 and whisked down
to the airfield car park at West Road to meet and greet the visiting queens and courts from
as far afield as Basildon, as well as to take a look at the various companies and community
groups that had entered floats in the procession. It was great to see so much variety in the
costumes people had obviously put a great effort into - I'm sure the judges had a tough time
deciding on this year's winners, but congratulations to everyone who won a prize!

At just before six, we lined up at the gate of the airfield to start the procession, which
was the cue for a mass panic about the weather and whether we would have our umbrellas up or
down because we had already been caught by a shower of rain, but by the time we got onto the
main road, the state of the weather was the least of our concerns. The crowds that came to
see the procession along the seafront were much bigger than I expected, especially around the
Pier, and I have every faith that we raised a lot of money from people's generosity, for this
year's chosen charities. There were a lot of young children who were wrapped up against the
cold, but who still had a big smile on their faces as they took in the sights and sounds of
the carnival.

After the procession had gone all the way along the seafront to Victoria Road, collecting
money as we went, our float turned around and headed towards St Paul's Church, where the
Inner Wheel had put on a beautiful Queen's Tea of all sorts of buffet foods and cakes, not to
mention the delicate-looking paper shoes that had been placed on our table containing an
individual chocolate for everyone. It was lovely to get back into the warm and sit and talk
to some of the other queens, though our primary thoughts were on the eating and drinking! I
had to make a speech thanking everyone for their hard work in making the evening a success,
before the other queens gave us their thanks for inviting them along to enjoy the event with
us. Though the afternoon had been long and tiring, I was quite sad to see my new friends
leave to go home to their various towns around Essex.

Sunday Show

Sunday dawned and brought with it some nicer weather than that of Saturday's procession. My
princesses and I were in attendance at the Sunday Show at Gainsford Avenue, which started at
12 o'clock, so as you can imagine there were a few sleepy-looking faces when we got out of
the car! Our primary role today was to go and sell raffle tickets to the various stallholders
and paying entrants to the showground, which Teala did a brilliant job of doing because she
managed to convince some people to buy a book of tickets, while Rebecca and I were lagging
behind selling singles. We took a wander amongst the classic cars that had been parked on the
field to look at, and had our picture taken (like many of Clacton's Courts before us) in
front of an old police car. We also watched some people having a go at archery and walking on
water, and bought some trinkets from the stalls on the field (I bought a hand-made beaded
bracelet and necklace from one lady, as well as a belated birthday present for my dad). I
think we might also this week be single-handedly keeping the doughnut stall in business!

Rebecca, Teala and myself were asked to go and visit the Pet Show that was also taking place
on the field at three o'clock; to the backdrop of some very good live music, we presented
awards to the winners of such categories as Best Fancy Dress and Cutest Cat (though on this
occasion, there were no cats entered, more's the pity). We also got to talk to some of the
owners and had our picture taken with the winning two dogs of the fancy dress contest, which
none of us minded at all because the dogs were very friendly and enjoyed the attention almost
as much as us!

After the pet show had ended, soon after so did our official duties, and we joined the crowds
in the main arena area to boogie on down to Abba Rebjorn with some of the members of the
Carnival Association, costumes and all - we have the incriminating photos to prove it! I'm
glad the rain didn't stop play because it was really nice to see so many people coming along
to support local charities, even if the majority of them probably did only come for the
music. I would definitely recommend next year's Sunday Spectacular as a fun family day out to
jot down in your diary.

Donkey Derby

As one of the only donkey derbies left in the country, Clacton Carnival's event on Monday
night had a lot to live up to but it didn't let me down. Tonight's event was the first that
we did not have to wear our posh frocks for, so when we were picked up we were all wearing
our Carnival jumpers and warm trousers because the wind had been blowing for quite a lot of
the day.

The evening kicked off with a number of sideshows laid out around the outside of the main
arena, and Rebecca, Teala and I were asked to try and sell a few raffle tickets while people
were placing their bets, before we were whisked over to the arena to start off the races. The
three of us decided on which donkeys we were unofficially rooting for, but my choices never
won so I gave up after a while! One of our main jobs for the evening was to present prizes to
the winners of the various races, and the overall winner of the evening, but it wasn't all
business because we also got to go and pet the donkeys and feed them some carrot chunks in
between races.

The evening seemed to be over as quickly as it started but I for one was keen to get home and
enjoy the thought of having a day off on the Tuesday - if there's one thing Clacton Carnival
is, it's hectic, but it's also great fun so if you're thinking of applying for the Court next
year, DO IT!
Sandcastle Competition, Egg-Throwing and Beer Dig

After a day off from my Carnival duties came a very busy day indeed, because the Wednesday
during Carnival Week is always jampacked with events down on the beach, and this year was no
exception. When I woke up, the weather looked a bit dodgy so I pulled on my Carnival jumper
and off I went, but when I got to the beach I was surprised by just how warm the weather
actually was.

Our first role of the day was to help register entrants for the sandcastle competition and
give them their competitors' wristbands, before we were asked to venture around with our
piggy bank, affectionately named Penny Pig, to tried to raise more cash for the Carnival's
charities. After we had got a few spare coins out of everyone's wallets Teala, Rebecca and I
were asked to judge the sandcastles which was very difficult because they were all so good
and we all disagreed on who we wanted to win, but eventually we did find a happy medium and
while the Carnival Association were working out the prizes and such (a cunning ploy to build
the tension, I suspect) I was asked to help judge a Hula-Hoop competition on the promenade.
One girl in particular made it look so easy while I can't keep a hula hoop up for love nor

After the prizes had been awarded and there was a quick photo opportunity, my princesses and
I were allowed to go home and have a spot of lunch before we had to go out again in the
evening for the egg-throwing (and world record attempt) and beer dig, both of which were
events I had never experienced before. There was quite a hefty crowd on the beach when we
arrived and were given the task of selling raffle tickets to be drawn the following evening
while people got into position and got their protective clothing (binbags) on. We headed down
onto the beach to watch the goings-on - and very nearly came close to being splattered by egg
a couple of times as the wind blew our way!

The eventual winners of the competition were so determined I think they would have cried if
they hadn't won, but part of their reward was to have the first chance at breaking the world
record attempt at throwing and catching an egg on sand without it breaking. Sadly, of all the
pairs that took part, none actually succeeded in throwing AND CATCHING the egg, but it
provided us with a great deal of entertainment, if nothing else.

Next up was the beer dig. Everyone was asked to vacate the beach so that the prize tokens
could be laid but I suspect there was a lot of cheating going on as a lot of people found
prizes very quickly once the competition started. Children's tokens were traded in for
bottles of juice while adults had the option of beer as well (which is where the name of the
competition comes from). I felt very privileged to be asked to present the winner of the Star
Prize with a £25 gift token for local shops, though thanks to a mix-up, last year's Star
Prize was also won, and the second winner was given £25 in cash as she wasn't local.

I was surprised at how many people turned up to search for the tokens in the dusk, and at how
long they were willing to keep looking in case a token had been missed, but around 8:30 or so
all the tokens had been found and, with prizes left over, we headed home.
Mammoth Fete and Fireworks

In my experience of Carnival Week, I've always thought the fete and fireworks evening was the
second biggest event, and the most famous, after the procession itself. The sheer volume of
people pouring through the gates at the start of the evening was immense, and my princesses
and I were lucky enough to experience the hive of activity from right in the middle, where we
were given the task of selling as many raffle tickets as we could in the hours counting down
to the grand draw.

The evening went surprisingly quickly and I saw a lot of people I knew, including many of the
girls from my Brownie Unit, and nightfall came before we knew it. Even though it had
threatened to rain earlier in the evening the weather held off ready for the fireworks which,
like the previous year, were a little delayed. From around nine o'clock onwards, were were
allowed to take a little wander around the field but a lot of the stalls had begun to pack up
already so as not to miss the fireworks, so we ambled back over to the raffle stall in the
centre of the field.

I didn't see the fireworks myself because I took refuge in one of the containers (I guess you
could say I have a phobia of them), but a few people I know managed to get pictures and the
feedback was excellent. All I know is that from where I was sitting, the fireworks sounded
like they were exploding right above my head, and I could hear them even through my iPod.

After the display was finished, I rushed back over to the carnival stand ready to draw the
first ticket of the raffle, and my princesses followed suit, but a lot of people had already
decided to head home (and how sensible of them; I know the field designated to carparking
gets really busy and congested after the evening draws to a close). It was sad to think that
this was one of the last events to occur during Carnival week because we'd all been having so
much fun, but I must give credit where it's due; the Association did a really brilliant job
of organising the evening!

Quiz Night

Having attended the quiz night last year with a team of my own, I half-knew what was expected
of me this year. We arrived just as the room had finished being set up (that's one of the
best things about being Queen - turning up when all the hard work's done!) and were briefed
as to what we needed to do that evening - selling raffle tickets and collecting answer papers
at the ends of rounds. One especially eager team was already at the door, so there was little
time to rest before we were off.

Adrian's quizzes are renowned for being the next level up from your usual pub quiz, to the
point that some of the questions are just bizarre, but I was proud that I knew a fair few of
the answers. There was little time to dwell on the ones that we got wrong, however, as when
we weren't running around to pick up joker cards and answer sheets we were helping to fill
the raffle drum with tickets. There was an interval round, during which teams had an extra
question sheet to complete while we tried to get them to part with more of their money,
before we were thrown straight back into another half a dozen rounds of tricky questions.

With our brains thoroughly melted, all that was left at the end of the evening was to draw
the raffle and award prizes for the highest- and lowest- scoring teams, as well as the best
team name and best picnic. I was amazed at some of the scores that were read out - I felt
like I was standing amongst some real quiz boffins (Eggheads, look out!). Congratulations to
all the winners - even if you didn't win, feel better knowing that you did a whole lot better
than I ever would!

Walton Carnival

It was with a heavy heart that I got into the car on Saturday morning to travel to Walton as
I knew it was the last carnival we would be attending this year, and thus one of the last
opportunities I would have to wear my dress. We arrived at the Naze and met up with the
Walton Court, who were enjoying some very sticky-looking ice lollies and generally relishing
in the warm weather we were having, before they had to leave us to have some photographs
taken for the paper. In the meantime, only two other Courts arrived to join the procession,
but there were a lot of floats from community groups, charities and companies that looked
just as amazing.

The mayor of the town arrived and came round to have a chat to all the Courts, though it
wasn't until we were presented with the first place trophy that I realised we were even being
judged! That was probably one of the proudest moments I have experienced in my year as Queen,
so thank you to everyone who put in the hard work to make us and our float look fantastic!

The procession took place after all the awards had been given out, and I would probably guess
that it was more raucous than our own carnival the week before - though being at the front
during Clacton probably shielded us from a lot of the noise! The atmosphere was absolutely
buzzing, even when the procession led us along some of the quieter residential roads in the
town, and just as the week before I saw a few familiar faces in amongst the crowd.

The Courts departed the procession at the Naze Marine holiday park, where we were taken into
the clubhouse for a spot of Queen's Tea, though unbeknown to be I was required to make a
speech. I think I muddled through it well enough, though it was far from polished! We were
sad to leave at the end of the afternoon, but I'm sure I can speak for everyone that attended
when I say that we had a wonderful time - I couldn't have wished for a better end to my

Presentation Evening

After a few weeks of some (I think) well-deserved free time, our next Courtly duty was to
attend the presentation evening and give away all the money we (and everybody else!) worked
so hard to earn during the events of Carnival week. It was a bit of a hectic evening; we
arrived and straight away were set to work greeting people and sending them through to the
hall where the presentation would take place. Before long, though, we were asked to go
through and take our seats at the front of the hall, and the main event began.

Having been involved with the Carnival for some years before becoming Queen, I knew that
there were a lot of volunteers that helped out by manning stalls and providing food and drink
during the weeks' activities, but it was still overwhelming to see just how many people had
given up their time and energy to support us. All the money given out that evening by myself,
Rebecca and Teala was well-deserved, and we were only too happy to pose for pictures with
some of our beneficiaries afterwards.

Maternity Unit Visit

As a representative of Clacton Maternity Unit - one of our main beneficiaries for the
Carnival Procession - couldn't make it to the presentation evening, I was asked to go down
one day and present the cheque to them instead. I was nervous, mainly because I had never
been to the unit before and didn't know what to expect, but the midwives made me feel very

I was taken through to see one of the birthing rooms and invited to climb into the pool, but
knowing my clumsy nature I declined - just in case. Instead, we were joined by another
midwife who did demonstrate how the pool was used and how the money from the Carnival would
be used (though I don't think breaking one of the taps was really necessary!), and we had
some photographs taken for the local newspaper.

I couldn't help but notice that, aside from our giggling (I don't think it would be right to
repeat some of the things that were said!), there was very little noise coming from any of
the rooms. In my head, I had imagined that I might hear a baby cry, or someone come through
the doors in the throes of labour - but it was an unusually quiet day for the unit and no
emergencies were announced while we were there, thankfully!

Quiz Night

2011 dawned and brought with it a countdown of mere months before I would have to relinquish
my crown to the next lucky girl at the end of March. In this respect, attending the Carnival
quiz night in February was a bit of a kick in the teeth as the proceeds go to creating the
dresses for next year's Court, but I put my grown-up head on for a moment and realised that
without last year's Court doing exactly the same thing the year before, we would never have
been gifted with our dresses. So, with a brave smile upon my face I took to my duties with
Rebecca, and we sold raffle tickets to the entrants, all the while trying to decide whose
feast looked the most worthy of the "Best Picnic" title. We were also asked to collect answer
papers and joker cards between rounds, just as we had done during Carnival week.

The quiz itself seemed a little easier for me this time, but that might've been because I had
managed to catch up on current events since starting a new job at the end of October 2010 -
I'm sure it's no reflection on Adrian's amazing quizmaster skills! I can certainly understand
why his events are booked up months in advance anyway - though all those people did make for
a bit of a hot and humid room towards the end of the evening! I can only hope that we raised
enough money for the next Court to have the dresses they deserve, and to make us proud next