One of the highlights of 2000 Carnival Week was the re-enactment of the flight by the Monk Eilmer from the top of Malmesbury Abbey in 1010. The event was organised by a group known as The Eilmer Quorum, in particular Dr Michael Moore and Maxwell Woosnam, author of Eilmer, The Flight And The Comet.
As darkness fell, the scene was set by Dr. Moore with Revd. David Littlefair playing the Abbot and Hon. George Bathurst reading the account of William of Malmesbury. Then a very lifelike dummy, wearing a pair of wings as close as is known to the ones that Eilmer made for himself, flew down from the top of the Abbey. Its flight was smooth until the final few feet when there was a heavy landing followed by realistic cries of distress. Eilmer was then carried back to the Abbey on a stretcher where he was confronted by the Abbot who made it clear he was not to attempt such an escapade again.
A large crowd witnessed the production and appreciated the hard work that went into re-creating a significant event in Malmesbury's history.
Earlier in the evening the traditional procession wound its way through the town streets. As usual there were a wide variety of floats ranging from a safari experience to cannibals (see below). In addition there were pedestrian acts including a wild west gun battle and some unlikely looking nurses.
There were good crowds to watch the procession, and more than £2000 was raised from street collections for Carnival Committee to allocate to worthy causes.