‘The town will be in your debt’: Joy as Sheringham Carnival is saved
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012
A carnival cavalry rode to the rescue at the 11th hour to ensure that the Sheringham show will go on.
As reported earlier, there were fears that a dearth of volunteers would lead to a 50-year tradition of town carnivals ending, with the danger of no event in 2013.
But at Tuesday evening’s annual meeting, a host of people responded to the clarion call for help, filling the vital roles and ensuring that there will be a Sheringham Carnival next year - and for the foreseeable future.
Delighted chairman Stuart McClean, who was re-elected after a change of constitution enabled officers to remain in post for more than two years, said a big “thank you” to those who saved the day.
He said: “I would like to thank all of you here, especially those who have taken the jobs on. You have allowed us to continue with Sheringham Carnival in 2013.
“The town will be in your debt. Don’t let anybody say this town doesn’t need a carnival. It does. It brings people together and gets us in touch with the traders and people who visit.”
He added;: “The easiest thing to do would have been to walk away and give up. But we are not like that.”
The crisis came to a head when a volunteers meeting last week saw a tiny turnout - and nobody putting themselves forward for the key roles, including secretary, treasurer and sponsorship manager.
A host of other roles also needed to be filled, after carnival secretary Paula Popham - who was elected as an executive governor - decided to step down.
Mrs Popham’s absence left a vacuum, as she did many of the jobs that were up for grabs at the meeting.
But, after Mr McClean said the “vital roles” needed to be filled or the carnival “could not carry on”, people stepped forward.
They included Sam Farrow, who agreed to be the secretary, Emma White, who will take charge of the advertising, Paula Chapman and Patricia Brooks, who will look after sponsorship and Paul Starling, who will oversee programme production.
A host of other people signed up for jobs, including a number who agreed to serve on the committee.
Mr McClean said: “I think we should be proud of our carnival, which is a real family event. We all get on well together. We make mistakes, but they are honest mistakes.”
Mr McClean also thanked the EDP for its coverage of the carnival committee’s plight, which played a part in encouraging people to come forward at the last minute.