Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Venetian Fete

Tonbridge Big Bridge and sleepy rowing boats

An illuminated Venetian Fete was held on the River Medway, below Tonbridge Castle, every summer between the 1890’s and c WWII to mark the end of Cricket Week.

As dusk fell over Tonbridge Castle the river below hosted the after dark procession of decorated tableaux.  Illuminated canoes, rowing boats and larger crafts drifted past the festooned river banks lined with hundreds of spectators, who stood below flags and fairy lights that reflected in the shimmering water. 

As dusk falls it is delightful, as many lights of many hues spring up in all directions until one could imagine that a corner of Venice had been dropped in our midst.” (Tonbridge Free Press)

Tonbridge was not the only town on the Medway to host a Venetian carnival.  Hythe continues this tradition each year.

Maybe the aquatic carnival should become part of the Tonbridge social calendar again!!!!!

Tonbridge Castle overlooking the River Medway