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Ringwood Carnival gets off to a flyer
4:51pm Friday 14th September 2012 in News
HE spent months converting a clapped-out old Land Rover into a roadworthy replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Stuart Wallis's version of the famous flying car even sprouts the same red and yellow wings that enabled Caractacus Potts to travel to Vulgaria and defeat the evil Baron Bomburst.
Stuart took on the project after his eldest daughter Lily watched the classic 1968 film and challenged him to create his own Chitty.
But making the vehicle fly was always a step too far - until now.
In an achievement worthy of Caractacus himself, Mr Wallis has created a device that lifts the car off the ground.
The vehicle will “fly” for the first time at Ringwood carnival tomorrow, when at least 10,000 people are expected to line the streets.
Stuart, 54, said: “The apparatus includes a winch and a cable system - it's like a glorified kitchen table coming up on four legs.
“The wheels come clean off the ground amid a cloud of disco smoke.”
The car's appearance is always a popular part of the carnival but its newly acquired ability to leave the road behind is set to make it an even bigger crowd-puller than before.
Stuart added: “It has to be stationary to elevate and I'm planning to stop at five key locations along the carnival route.”
His four-fendered friend will take part in both processions. The children's parade will leave the Parkside Industrial Estate at 2pm and will be followed by a torchlight event starting at the same place at 7.15pm.
The carnival will also feature marching bands, all-day entertainment at The Bickerley and a fireworks display at 9.30pm.
This year's carnival queen is Nancy Soloman, whose attendants are Lizzie Treble and Annie Hopper.
Michael Lingam-Willgoss, vice-chairman of the carnival committee, said: “We are working very hard to ensure that this year's carnival provides a fantastic day out for those visiting the town.
“The incredible support we receive from the local community and businesses enables us to stage the event and donate money to good causes.”
Last year's event raised more than £7,000 for charities, including Tools for Self Reliance.