Carnivals, Soldiers in the Far East, Walking on Water

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We hope everyone had a great weekend! With the inspirational Paralympics in full swing, the world’s attention is once again on London, and the city has been busy celebrating with many diverse activities (three words: Ice Cream Festival.). Here at Historypin, we have had so many fabulous contributions from both individual users and institutions alike over the past week. Here are just some of the few photos and stories that captured our attention.

Pin of the Week

Northampton Carnival, 1957.

In keeping with the festive mood here in London, our Pin of the Week comes from the wonderful Carnival Archive Project. As their name suggests, their Channel is dedicated to the heritage of carnival, and currently focuses on the English towns of Luton, Northampton, Norfolk and Southend-on-Sea.

The photo above is a really fun representation of the Northampton Carnival Parade, which by the 1960s was firmly established as part of Northampton’s leisure culture. Thousands of spectators came to the town to witness the fantastic costumes and floats, with participants including youth clubs, companies and charities. The competition included such quirky categories as ‘Fancy Dress Get-up on Cycle-Juvenile’, Motor Car-Any Age-Any-Type-Decorated’ and ‘Traders’ Decorated Advertisement Get-up or Otherwise.’

Check out more great photos on their Channel.

Pinner of the Week

Two men on a roadside outside Naha, Japan, 1943-1947.

Pinner of the week is the Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, who have contributed photos of military operations in the far east during the 1940’s. One of the libraries’ strengths is US military history, and this week they illustrate their diversity in that category with photos from the American military operation in Okinawa, Japan. From the bases to the local villages, these photos provide an interesting snapshot of a soldier’s life abroad during and after World War II. Experience local life along with the GI’s at the Library’s Channel.

Children on a porch, Koza, Japan, 1943-1947.

Story of the week

Walking the Channel, 25 August 1978.

Our story of the week is fun and unusual, of US Army Sgt. Walter C. Robinson “walking” across the English Channel in 1978. This photo is from the start of his attempt to cross over to France at 5:30 am, where well-wishers saw him off on his home-made inflatable shoes. Wearing a special shirt reading “The World’s First Int. Waterwalker,” Robinson propelled himself forward by oars through the sea tides.

Robinson ended up covering 21 miles from Dover, England to Cap Gris Nez, France in eleven and a half hours.  He was quoted saying: “My army mates think it is quite a courageous thing to do… Anyways it’s a bit of a challenge. I suppose one day water shoes could take the place of Channel ferries. Who knows? They got to the moon and they didn’t think that was possible.”

I love to hear stories of people attempting to so something quirky and out-of-the-ordinary, like Robinson. Walking across the Channel has yet to come into high demand, but as he suggests, anything is possible!