Traders criticised as Sheringham Carnival’s future is in the balance

Sheringham Carnival's future is in the balance, amid concerns about a lack of engagement from town traders and a desperate need for more volunteers.

Treasurer and secretary Paula Popham is standing down, while chairman Stuart McClean is considering his future after the pair led the annual extravaganza for two years.

Mrs Popham, who got involved along with Mr McClean and others two years ago when five members of the carnival committee resigned, said the 2013 carnival would 'not happen' without more help.

And - with the clock ticking to an October 16 deadline for nominations for chairman, secretary and treasurer - Mr McClean said a poor response from traders this year had 'made it difficult'.

He said: 'In 2011, we got a response from the traders, but this year was not the same. It's such a battle to convince them that it's a worthwhile event.


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'We need their support financially and need to see them out and about.'

He said there 'wasn't too much effort' made by traders to set up stalls when the town centre was closed to traffic on carnival day, and said the committee might have to 'get outside traders in' to make ends meet.

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Mr McClean added that the money at the bucket collections was low, citing the example of the carnival fireworks, which cost �2,400 to stage but reaped just �380 in donations.

D-day for the carnival could come on Tuesday October 23, when the annual meeting is held at the Morley Club on Cromer Road at 7pm.

After the meeting, donations from this year's carnival surplus will be presented to local charities and organisations.

Before that, on Tuesday October 16 at 7.30pm at the Lobster pub, there will be an informal get-together for potential volunteers.

Mrs Popham said: 'Why not come along for a chat and to find out what you could offer? You might be pleasantly surprised. All age groups will be very welcome.'

The deadline for nominations for the key carnival positions is the same day, and people can bring along a letter nominating themselves or fill one in on the evening.

Alternatively, write to Mrs Popham via the contacts page at www.sheringhamcarnival.com.

The carnival is scheduled to run from August 3 to 11 next year.

Mrs Popham added: 'Many hands make light work, and – seriously – the more hands we have, the less each has to do. There are lots of roles which need to be filled in order to lighten the workload, and to make carnival an enjoyable experience for all.

'Roles can of course be shared - for example, we need people to be in charge of cups and trophies, advertising, sponsorship, manning the caravan and more. Nothing is very difficult in itself, and full help and support will be given.

'Please do come along. Without more assistance, Sheringham Carnival 2013 will not happen.'

? Also on the October 16 from 12 noon to 6pm, Cathie Davies from the Carnival Archive Project will be having a collecting day.

Bring any photos from carnivals of yesteryear and any other memorabilia that she can record digitally while you wait.

It is being done to build up the first ever digital carnival archive in the UK. See on www.carnivalarchive.org.uk

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