Instant Light will spark your imagination!

SIRF Community Carnival 2015 will bring the Instant Light story to life with a magical tale of how Stockton became a festival town.

Join John Walker and Vesta on Stockton High Street on Saturday 1 August to lead Stockton’s largest community celebration of the year. An explosion of colourful costume and carnival beats will bring together groups from across the borough to show off their beautiful creations!

It starts at 12noon with a processions down Church Road to Stockton High Street, Tower Street and ending on Stockton Riverside. You can see a full breakdown of the afternoon, including the after part on the Carnival performance information page.

We have different stories to each section of the Carnival, each one is created by a different Artist.

Section 1:   The Circus Comes to Town by Morwenna Catt

Rumour has it a circus lived in Stockton in the 19th Century, arriving in town at winter time and leaving in the spring to tour the country in their big top. So what happened while they were here? Were there clowns working at the docks, a strong man at the butchers? This section takes inspiration from the Victorian Circus.

Section 2:  Victorian Stockton by Shirley Wells

In the early 1800s Stockton, a small market town in the North East, led the world in the industrial age. The excitement of the railways and other new inventions left a legacy for the town. This section sets the scene and takes us back to the old world feel of Victorian Stockton High Street.

Section 3:  John & Vesta by Katy Dye

This section introduces our 2 main characters John Walker a chemist who lived and worked on Stockton High Street and invented the world’s first friction match and Vesta an aerialist performer from the circus. This section marks the moment they met to the point of the invention of the match in Walkers Chemist shop.

Section 4: The Spark by Creative Seed

This section will illustrate the invention of the match, the spark! Celebrating light and fire this section marks the importance of John Walker’s invention. Based on flames, fire, sparks and light this section will bring to life the friction match and difference it made to people’s lives.

Section 5: SIRF by Kim McDermottroe

A festival with a 28 year history of bringing the best street theatre performers to Stockton High Street! This section will feature favourite performances and recreate famous visual moments from past festivals.

Section 6: Lighting the Skies by Sue Walpole and Thea Soltau

A riot of colour this section represents fireworks! Every year SIRF finishes with fantastic fireworks and skies full of colour and sparkle; a moment of celebration bringing everyone together!


All of the designs that our artists create for this years Carnival will be added to our Gallery page.

Want to be part of the story? For more information or to sign up to take part e-mail or tel: 01642 527696


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