Leeds carnival wants your memories from last five decades

Dancers taking part in the Chapeltown West Indian Carnival in August 2009.
Dancers taking part in the Chapeltown West Indian Carnival in August 2009.
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PREPARATIONS are underway for the 48th Leeds West Indian carnival.

And this year organisers want to mark the event - which draws one of the biggest annual crowds to the city with more than 100,000 people - with your photographs, videos and memories.

The first carnival was held on the streets of Leeds in 1967 and now reminders from the last five decades are being sought to help record it’s place in history, by running a competition to fund the best historic images.

Arthur France, founder of the first Leeds carnival who is still involved today, said: “Here at Leeds West Indian Carnival we pride ourselves on being Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. We began in 1967 with a few thousand curious bystanders watching the magic unfold at the first formally organised, true Caribbean style Carnival procession. Last year the turnout was over 150,000 – our biggest crowd ever.”

People are being urged to upload their pictures to the facebook, twitter and instagram with the hashtag #LeedsCarnivalCompetition.

The winners along with the pictures and prizes they have won will be announced and uploaded on the website and could be used for future carnival advertising and press campaigns.

This year’s carnival takes place on Monday August 25 and already colourful costumes and head dresses are being hand made, at the carnival headquarters in Chapeltown.

Susan Pitter, one of the Carnival main organisers, said: “We are also collecting Carnival’s oral history stories from those who were involved from the 1960’s and 70’s and perhaps share some old black and white images.

“We are anticipating some great shots and great memories. It is such a huge event on the city’s calendar, we feel there are lots out there yet to find.”

There will be a steel band, floats and great live music at this year’s event, centred around Potternewton Park.

The winners of the best submissions will also receive prizes including dinner at some of Leeds top eateries.

More details and how to submit your photographs at www.leedscarnival.co.uk.

Leeds West Indian Carnival is Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade.

What started in the 1960’s as one man’s remedy for West Indian homesickness is now the perfect blend of jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouth watering food and entertainment for everyone.

It is held annually on the last Monday in August, every year offering a stunning display of colour and joy that winds its way through the streets of Leeds.

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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