FAIRFORD Carnival started as a ‘Cycle Carnival’ in 1894 replacing the old Smoking concerts of previous years. A profit of £30 was made, £35 of which was donated to the Cottage Hospital which was then in the end cottage next to the Cricket Field in Park Street. The other £5 started the Carnival Fund.
The Carnival became acknowledged as the greatest show in the West. Its heyday was in the 1930s. In 1937 the procession was so long that the head of the procession met the tail when progressing round the town. 32 Bands competed in the Band contest, 200 helpers served 5,000 teas and the Fairford shops ran out of food.
The Carnival ceased during both wars and shortly after World War 2, the National Health Service was formed so the Hospital no longer had to depend on local donations. The impetus was lost and the Carnival only ran from 1953-56.