The Carnival Queen and Chauncey Redding

Governor Sees Big Auto Parade

Mardi Gras Festival Feature of
Big Carnival Week

Blanche Thompson (Worcester) Crowned Carnival Queen

September 1915

HAMPTON BEACH CARNIVAL QUEEN of 1915, Miss Blanche Thompson of Haverhill, Mass., sits in a bi-plane with pilot Chauncey Redding before taking off from the beach for a 1,000 foot ascent. The plane ride was a prize for winning the title of Carnival Queen in 1915.
["Lynn, Mass., Oct. 21, 1915 - J. Chauncey Redding, of Melrose, and Philip Bulman, of Malden, were killed today by the fall of a biplane in which they were making an experimental flight." three weeks after this picture was taken.]

HAMPTON BEACH, N.H., Sept. 9 -- Yesterday and today have been the biggest days of Carnival week here, and each day thousands of visitors have been present to witness the various events arranged by the carnival committees.

A feature of today was the big automobile parade with nearly 100 cars in line, all gaily decorated with flowers, the national colors, and pennants. The parade formed on F st. at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon, and the line of march ... [unreadable] ... by the Ocean boulevard, thence to F St. by way of Marsh (Ashworth) ave., thence to the (Hampton Beach) Casino, where the parade was reviewed by Gove. Rolland H. Spaulding and other visiting New Hampshire officials, thence to A st. to Marsh (Ashworth) ave. and back to the starting point, where the parade was dismissed.

The committee arranging the parade included John C. White, L. C. Ring, and J. J. Lucier, while in charge of the automobile and motorcycle races which took place later upon the beach were ... [unreadable] ... included F. James, president of the Hampton Beach Board of Trade, under whose auspices the carnival is being held; W. J. Bigley, John A. MacAdams, superintendent of the Exeter and Hampton electric railway; Frank E. Nason, manager of the Casino and Ocean house; Thomas L. Sanborn, of the Sea View house, George Tilton and others.

In the afternoon at 4 o'clock, Aviator J. Chauncey Redding and J. Howard Bushway gave a demonstration in mid-air, showing how in actual warfare a defended fort is bombarded and destroyed by intrepid aviators high in the air and out of reach of the fort's guns. The act was a most thrilling one and was witnessed by thousands of spectators. On the day previous owing to an accident, Aviator Redding was unable to make an ascent ... [unreadable] ... to drop by parachute from the aeroplane at a height of 9,000 feet. Several attempts were made, but the machine was not in working order.

Mardi Gras Festival

Band concerts were given by Higgins band at intervals during the afternoon, and at 8 o'clock this evening came the grand illumination with confetti battles. Confetti was everywhere in evidence, and a great amount of merriment prevailed, the diversion being a novel one in this vicinity. The climax of the evening came at 9:30 o'clock with the opening of the big Mardi Gras festival which was participated in by thousands of summer guests and visitors. There was a long parade of masqueraders which made a detour of points about the beach, finally assembling at the Casino where the King and Queen of the carnival were escorted to an improved throne fashioned of flowers, flags and foliage. The parade formed at Nudd's avenue and followed the line of the sea-wall walk, finally assembling at the band stand.

Miss Blanche Thompson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Thompson of Haverhill, was the fortunate one to be crowned queen, a great amount of rivalry having existed in the contest for honors. [Arthur Ford took the honors for being crowned Carnival King.] The ceremonial was exceedingly attractive and music by the band and the throwing of confetti made a handsome observance, never before witnessed at this resort. Votes ins the contest were sold at one cent each, the proceeds being expended in the carnival, while the one turning in to the committee the biggest sum was entitled to the honor of queen, and was also awarded a ride in the aeroplane with Aviator Redding. Another prize bestowed here was a $50 diamond ring. Other prizes awarded the next three contestants were a set of china, a silver service, and a chest of silver.

The festivities of the day were concluded with a grand display of fireworks on the beach opposite the Casino, the band playing a program of patriotic airs.

The program arranged for Friday includes a procession devoted to the interests of agriculture, with a civic and trades parade at 1:30 o'clock. This will form on F st., and a feature will be several of the local fire companies, decorated conveyances, and other attractions. There will be a full list of sporting events, and at 2:30 o'clock there will be an agricultural meeting in the opera house with a program of exercises furnished by the extension department of the New Hampshire State college at Durham. There will also be an exhibition of farm products held in connection with the exercises. Aviator Redding will make an ascension with a parachute drop by Philip Bulman and there will be another illumination fireworks, a band concert, and confetti battles.

First Beach Queen Returns to Hampton Beach

The First "Carnival Queen"
Blanche (Thompson) Worcestor

September 9, 1915

The Beachcomber, July 8, 1971

There's only one Blanche Thompson Worcestor and she was the very first "Carnival Queen" ["Carnival Queens" up to 1945, then "Miss Hampton Beach"to the present]. She was crowned on September 9 in the year 1915.

Blanche recalls fondly that she was crowned by Marion Evans who was later to become her sister-in-law. Arthur Ford of the Pelham Hotel was Blanche's King.

Times have changed. When Blanche won, she was called the Carnival Queen and there was a King. Now the title is Miss Hampton Beach [title was changed in 1946] and there is no King .

That's not all that's different though. Back in 1915, the candidates for Carnival Queen had to solicit funds in order to participate. The carnival was held the week after Labor Day so that expenses for Carnival Week could be met. The Pageant is now held on July 22nd.

The Carnival Queen recalls that she raised a little over $300 (with a little help from her Dad). When she took top honors, she received a large heart shaped box of candy, a diamond ring, and an airplane ride. Blanche has had the diamond reset in another ring and still wears it.

Probably the most thrilling part of her crowning was her ride with Chauncey Redding in a biplane. She remembers that they took off from Hampton and flew up to 1,000 feet and then landed in the sand with a flat tire.

Competition was keen back in the Old Days for decorating automobiles. Blanche went to work on her mother's Cadillac and won the first three prizes. She recalls that the "car was really beautiful."

Blanche loves Hampton Beach and she returned for her birthday this past June 4th. Blanche was 75 years young on that day. When she comes up here she stays at the Bailey Motel [now Bailey's Beach Resort at North Beach]. She says she likes the friendly atmosphere and the way Randy's bridges the generation gap.

Blanche is in and of herself a bridge to the generation gap. She is a real go getter that has put 101,175 miles on her 1966 Pontiac. The smile and personality that won her the honor of being the first Miss Hampton Beach, still shines through.

Blanche's philosophy of life is, "Spend it while you got it because you can't take it with you."

The first Miss Hampton Beach like the present one, Janice Janes, is a Mass. resident. She was living in Haverhill, Mass. when she won and she now resides in Bradford, Mass.

Blanche's parents were well known on Hampton Beach. They owned what used to be the Seacoy Cottage for fifteen years.

Blanche married a doctor and now has two sons and a daughter-in-law who are doctors. She said, "Naturally, I'm in good shape."

The first Miss Hampton Beach is still going strong at 75 and if there was a senior citizens beauty pageant, she would probably walk away with the honors.

Blanche notes the change in Hampton Beach each year but the warmest spot in her heart is still reserved for that day on September 9, 1915 when she was crowned Carnival Queen.

At the tender age of 17, it certainly had to be one of the high points in her life.

The first Hampton Beach Beauty Queen spent the fourth of July weekend at the Bailey Motel. She said, "I'm up here to have a really good time!" I'm sure she did.

1915 Carnival Queen To Return

First "Miss Hampton Beach" Now 73

By Bill Robinson

Hampton Union, Ca. 1969

HAMPTON BEACH -- Touched by a bit of nostalgia, the original Miss Hampton Beach will return to this popular summer resort this weekend.

Mrs. Blanche (Thompson) Worcester was crowned as: Carnival Queen Sept. 9, 1915, at Hampton Beach when she was 17.

The now 73-year-old Mrs. Worcester is the weekend guest of the Bailey Motel, formerly the Aqua Rama. Adjacent to the motel is Randy’s Gay 90’s where she will greet many of her old and young friends and reminisce about the "good old times" at the beach.

At Randy’s, the so-called generation gap is suspended as persons from age 21 to 90 mingle and enjoy the old tunes knocked out by a ragtime band which sits on a carousel.

There she will join others and dance around the carousel to several patriotic songs and at the end of the evening, as on all evenings at Randy's, she and others will pay tribute to America’s war dead by singing "God Bless America."

The Bailey Motel and Randy's Gay 90’s has the distinction of being the first dwelling house erected on the beach. It was built by John Elkins in 1800 on a knoll called Nut Island.

A few years later, Mrs. Elkins sold the building to Moses Leavitt. Since that time, it has been known as the Leavitt Homestead.

Leavitt moved into the house with his family and opened a lodging house for the accommodation of fishermen and fishmongers, who in the winter came from their homes in Vermont with large horse teams to be loaded with fish, which they brought back frozen to be sold in the Canadian markets.

The nearby barn, now Randy's was used by the fishermen to house their horses. It was converted into a motion picture house in 1935 by Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Marble and was named the "Barn Theater."

The basic shape of the buildings, including the barn, is unchanged. The original beams still support the huge barn and are left uncovered.


Two Aviators Die In Fall At Lynn, 1915

Biplane collapses - bodies found buried in mud of Massachusetts marsh

Newsclipping From Unidentified Newspaper

[Courtesy of Joe Sanford (1/3/03) & Ralph Cooper (8/3/05)]

"Lynn, Mass., Oct. 21, 1915 - J. Chauncey Redding, of Melrose, and Philip Bulman, of Malden, were killed today by the fall of a biplane in which they were making an experimental flight."

Redding, who was the manager of the Saugus Aviation School, was the operator of the machine and Bulman was his mechanician. They had risen from the aviation field and were soaring over the marshes nearby when the wing framework appeared to collapse and the machine dropped.

Both men were buried to a depth of two feet in the soft mud of the marsh and were dead when taken out.

In the home of Redding, in Malden, the police tonight found several imitation bombs and at Bulman's home a broken parachute. According to District Attorney Sullivan, neither Redding or Bulman had an aviators license.

For the last two weeks the boys have been at the Saugus Aviation Course. Their biplane, equipped with a 60-horsepower engine, had made many flights, and from it Bulman had made a parachute jump in Boston, a year ago, landing on the common.

A few weeks ago Bulman was at Brockton, where he was to do a parachute jump with James Olsen, the latter deciding to make the flight alone and was killed for his pains when a gust of wind overturned the plane. On July 6, at a celebration in Malden, Bulman made a parachute jump which resulted in his sustaining a broken ankle, and the flight he made this afternoon was the first since that time.

Redding was the son of an electrician and had for some time practiced aviation, and expected to become a member of some aviation corps in Europe.

See also: Carnival King and Queen at Hampton Beach - 1920's