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Miss Morten steals the show

Garry Wilkinson presenting the winners’ trophy to Sharron Jowett and David Jowett outside Mortens

Mortens, “Yorkshire’s Famous Hardware Store”, is celebrating after being crowned the winner of the Ilkley Carnival window competition run by Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) under its Discover Ilkley brand.


In the month prior to the Carnival, shops and businesses across town transformed their windows with vibrant Mardi Gras colours, festive decorations and Carnival bunting provided by Ilkley BID. Ten shops put themselves forward to enter the “Best Dressed Carnival Window Display” competition with Ilkley residents invited to vote for their winner via a Facebook social media poll.


The shops who participated in the competition were Attic Womenswear, Mortens, Nora’s Interiors & Gifts, Searles Flooring, Seddon & Davison, The Art Shop, The Fitting Room, The Grove Bookshop, The Yorkshire Soap Company and Waltons Fine Furnishings.


The race was tight, with only one vote separating the top two contenders in the final hours. But ultimately, Mortens emerged victorious with 29% of the 725 votes cast. Attic Womenswear came a close second by 7 votes and The Art Shop took third position.


Sharron Jowett from Mortens said: “We’re delighted to have won this competition and the trophy will take pride of place in the shop. We’ve received so many lovely comments about “Miss Morten” who we created out of things we sell instore, which included a bucket, a mop head, rubber gloves, pegs, door curtains, a high visibility jacket and more. It was good fun bringing her to life and we’re happy that she was a great source of amusement for our customers and people walking past. A massive thank you to everyone who voted for her and for our window display.”


Ilkley Carnival was a resounding success with a record 1,400 people taking part in the Mardi Gras themed parade watched by an estimated 15,000 spectators and attracting new schools from outside of the area – Addingham Primary, Askwith Primary and Burley Oaks Primary. Ashlands Primary School was the winner of the Matt King Best in Parade Trophy for their elaborate and high impact Yorkshire Folklore and Fantasy Reborn display.


Chair of Ilkley Carnival, Andrew Stacey, said: “It was wonderful to see all the vibrant shop and business window displays in the run-up to, and during, Ilkley Carnival. Thank you to all the businesses who participated and embraced the Mardi Gras spirit and congratulations to Mortens for their particularly creative shop window. Their creation, Miss Morten, looked well equipped to assist our other volunteers with the setting up of the Carnival showground. The town looked fantastic and it really helped to raise the profile of this amazing community event.”


Ilkley BID was proud to be a main sponsor of Ilkley Carnival. Garry Wilkinson, Ilkley BID Director, said: “Well done to the whole Carnival team for organising such a spectacular event which brought in thousands of visitors to Ilkley and united the whole town.


“In line with the BID’s objective to market the town and its businesses, we’re delighted that the competition generated such a buzz and that so many people engaged with us and the businesses on social media. We hope that the fun and inviting displays and the social media promotion helped to encourage residents and visitors to explore new shops in town.”


Ilkley Carnival 2025 will take place on Monday 6th May 2025. For more information and to view a photo gallery from this year’s event, visit For news updates follow @IlkleyCarnival on X (formally know as Twitter), Instagram and Facebook.  


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