Port William Carnival Week

Just like the Olympics with so many events taking pace, Port William Carnival Week started prior to the “opening event”, that of the Crowning of the Carnival Queen on Saturday.

Events kicked off with the Old Crocs Football Match (Ray Scott Trophy); with the Old Crocs beating The Young Ones four goals to two. The Darts and Dominoes tournaments took place later that same evening, with for the first time a woman winning the Dominoes, Kirsty McKie. Kirsty narrowly saw off her opponent in the final, one Dean Penrose. The Darts Tournament winner was Doit Kiltie and runner up was his brother Norman Kiltie.

Crowning the Port William Queen

Crowning the Port William Queen

Although Saturday started off miserable and wet, by lunchtime the sun was shining. The Scarecrow competition had fewer entries than in previous years, but the judges were impressed with the standard of those on display. The winners were, Children’s Section – 1, Faith Spice (Zeus); 2, Hope Spice and Brogan Malone (Sponge Bob) ; 3, Karen King (Sid). The Family Section was won by the Lochrie Family, who are on holiday in the village. Their entry was The Blond Bombshell.

For the third year running, The Community Association has managed to hire a Grand Marquee, situated on the Harbour Green in order to stage most of the indoor events. This year the week long Arts Festival is being staged in the harbour shed belonging to Port William Life Boat (PIRSAC), with the crew providing and manning the cream teas during the festival from 11.00 am until 3.30 pm each day. So George McKenzie and the rest of the crew are looking forward to as many visitors coming through this year, as the funds raised will go towards the cost of a new life boat.

The event that starts off the official Carnival Week is the Crowning of the Carnival Queen. This year’s Queen is 17-year-old Anna Walker. The tradition of the Retiring Queen and Queen Elect and their families being serenaded by Brian Tate from Wigtown on his mouth organ took place in the Monreith Arms Hotel prior to the start of the ceremony. The Crowning Party procession was lead by piper Craig Johnstone. The chairman of Port William and District Community Association, Mr Shaun Dodds opened proceedings by welcoming everyone to this year’s Carnival Week. Shaun thanked Ilise Spice, the Retiring Queen for all her hard work over the past year and special mention was made of Ilise’s family who since they immigrated to Port William have really become a part of the community, with Ilise’s mum having recently carried the Olympic Torch and attending a Royal Garden Party at Hollyrood Palace. Shaun went on to speak of Ilise’s commitment to the role of Carnival Queen but also being prepared to help out with other tasks not laid down in the job description, such as moving chairs and tidying up. Ilise he knew would be a great support to the Queen elect Anna and provide advice and help throughout the week. In her retiring speech, Ilise individually went through the list of people who had provided help and support throughout her reign, especially the Secretary of the Community Association Davina Kiltie for all the work she does throughout the year to make Carnival Week a success by unfurling a Grecian type scroll listing Davina’s input, which brought a good few laughs from the audience. Finally Isle spoke of how enjoyable the experience had been, and hoped that Anna would have a wonderful time as well. Keeping with the theme of ‘tradition’, the previous year’s winner of the Citizen of the Year Award, Frank Boyce was invited to crown the new Queen, after he had said a few words welcoming Anna to the role. Frank spoke of how he had only met Anna for the first the previous evening, but from the people he had spoken with, Anna was a young woman committed to everything she takes on, be it from gaining her Girl Guide Baden Powell Award through to currently working towards her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Following the Crowning Ceremony, in her first speech, Anna spoke of the number of years she had been attending Carnival Week and how proud she was of having been elected to the role of Carnival Queen and she hoped that she would be as successful in undertaking the role as Ilise.

Port William Carnival Week is well known for re-uniting families, as most people return to the village for this very special time. However the village seems to be taking on more of an international role, as last year the Queen’s grandmother flew half way around the world from New Zealand, this time Queen Anna’s grandmother Ginny flew over from Canada. So maybe one of the criteria for entering in 2013 will be to have jet setting grandparents.

After the ceremony, events continued with the Sports up in the Maxwell Park, organised by Jock McMaster and Rory Christie. The Sports champions for 2012 are: Girls – Maria Cowan, boys – Callum Gaw and Adults – Alistair Gaw.

The opening events continued late into the night with The Carnival Queens Ball. By popular request saw the return of the Angel Star Showband from Ayr. The evening opened with the chairman Shaun Dodds and treasurer Jim Gray leading the Queens Anna and Ilise for the first dance and dancing on a packed floor carried on well into the night.

The Sunday programme started with the first of the two traditional Church service, attended by Queens, their families and committee members. The Rev Bill Chalmers theme was ‘How to be a Winner’ and spoke about how checking ‘Port William.com’ on the internet, the only event he thought he could have participated in was The Old Crocs Football Match. As is again traditional the readings were undertaken by both Queens and the Chair of the Community Association.

Straight after the Church Service, it was down to the Maxwell Hall for the Port William Annual Highland Dancing Competition where there were an outstanding number of entries. As usual this event was organised by Joan Wilson, who has been undertaking this role for the past forty five years and although she often speaks of retirement, we hope, like the Queen, will continue in the role for some time to come. The adjudicator Kay Alexander made a welcome return and the piper was Jamie Thomson, although Jamie now lives in Stranraer he still returns to help in events throughout Carnival Week. Mrs Wilson was ably assisted by Betty Forrest, Jenni Gray, Helen Marsh and Carolyn Harvey.

A number of other events were being staged at the same time, and this lead to Queen Anna having to race between each in order to present prizes. One of the old favourite events was resurrected in the form of ‘It’s a Knockout’ and a number of teams had a wonderful time getting wet and mucky in the tradition of the TV programme. This was followed by the annual Port William v Galloway XI Cricket Match. The match was organised this year by the young Dean Penrose who lives in the village, but also plays for the Galloway team, Dean was helped to set up the ground by Keith Pomfret. For once rain did not stop play and after a long game, Dean’s team were the clear winners, with an afternoon of fun being had by all. The traditional cricket tea was provided by Dib Penrose, Bridget Hillman and Shirlee Kevan. Thsi was followed by the Autocross.

The Mary Donnan Open Pairs Bowling Competition was held. The winners were Ewan and Stuart McClurg and runners-up were Andrew and John McClurg.Once again many thanks go to Mr Jock McClurg for the excellent condition of the green and organising the event.

The evening’s entertainment continued with the sell out Curry and Quiz Evening in the Monreith Arms Hotel. This is a very popular event as usual had a waiting list of people wanting to take part, but tables were found for all. The Quiz Master for the evening was Mr Richard Dean; in charge of raffle was the Carnival Queen Anna Walker, helped by the Retiring Queen Ilise, Ethel Lockhart and Provost McHallum. The score keeper and adjudicator was Angie Ashton. In the kitchen were Davina Kiltie, Hilary Pavitt and Margo Dodds. Those worthy folk who made all the different varieties of curries, Dawn Brawls, Rhona Morland, Ian Jolly, Hilary Pavitt, Katy McLelland and Dib Penrose. Paul Gorman for the sound system. But most of all, a big thank you must go to John Kay for allowing the use of his kitchens and equipment. The winning table of the £100 first prize were ‘The No Ideas” - Leslie Lockhart, Brian, Andrew and Richard Kay, all from Newton Stewart. The runners-Up were “Craigendoues” and the booby prize went to “The MA Idiots”, made up of four of the young women who work in the Monreith Arms but prefer not to be named.

Tuesday statred with those who enjoy a spot of early morning exercise with a Kettle Bell work out. If you had any energy following the Kettle Bells was Table Tennis. The winners were…… Thanks go to Dib Penrose as convener and hopefully we will see this event growing from strength to strength over the coming years. The Junior Pool Competition in the afternoon was won once again by Callum Gaw. A special thanks has to go to Richard Dean for stepping in to run the event

At the Seconds Sands beach there was the choice of kayaking or the sand castle competition.

Kayaking is anew event for Carnival Week, organised by Hilary and Tim Pavitt, with support from the village lifeboat and crew (PIRSAC). Kayaking drew a good number of young people from a very yearly age upwards, some adults would have joined in, had they come as well prepared with their clothing as the children. Hopefully this will become a yearly event and grow in nature.

Wall to wall sunshine, greeted around one hundred and eighty entries, plus accompanying families to the Ssandcastle competition, as usual superbly organised by Shiralee Kevan and Anna Campion. Just like any good building work, time limits had to be put on completion of entries, in order to give the judges time to visit each and every wonderful creation. The results were, Under 5 years: 1, Lacklon Lindsey; 2, Evan Flood and Red Bailey and 3, Hazel Dempster. 5 to 8 years: 1, Libby Kay; 2, Max and Jane McHarg, and 3, Katie McCaig. 9 to 11 years: 1, Jenny and Amy; 2, Niamh Flood and 3, Karen King. 12 to 16 years: 1, Alister and Hazel Kevan; 2, Aaron Walker, Callum Gaw and John Walker; 3, Lois Campion and Rebecca Backman. Adult/Groups: 1, The Spices (The Olympic Swimmers); 2, Yorkshire Mixture (Castle). Overall winners of The Bucket and Spade Trophy (donated by Shiralee and Anna) were the Spice family.

The days’ entertainment continued with the adult pool competition, sponsored by The Monreith Arms. This year there was a new convenor Graeme Penrose and he made an excellent job of organising the event. There were sixteen entries and the final was played between Graham McKie and Winten (William) Smith. The new pool cup was won by Graham McKie.

Port William Carnival Week always tries to bring something different to the event each year, and over in the Grand Marquee a lively crowd enjoyed a family evening of hypnosis with TV’s Adam Night from Gateshead. He overwhelmed the crowd and volunteers on stage, with fun and laughter in his fast and funny family orientated show, especially designed not to offend!

Monday also sees the traditional open golf competition hosted by St Medan’s Golf Club and convened by Lindsey Ker. Entrants were down this year, but still fifty competitors took part. There were five lady competitors and the winner of the Dewar Shield was M Stryjewsti – 89. Handicap was D Robinson – 94-23-71. Gents: McDonald Trophy Scratch – F. Pomfret – 66. 1st Class: P.I.R.S.A.C. Trophy – B McKeand – 70-11-59; 2nd R Murray – 74-12-62; 3rd P and Strain- 69-7-62; 3rd J Penrose – 75-12-63. 2nd Class: 1st S Kilkerr – 77-15-62, M Barwick – 77-15-62; 2nd – J Nicholson – 76-13-63; 3rd B Killtie – 82-18-64.

A special thanks goes to Lindsey Ker, who even with a broken wrist managed to the collate scores.