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Much-loved carnival could be cancelled due to lack of volunteers

PUBLISHED: 12:30 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 30 April 2018

Brandon Carnival crowds on London Road. Picture: Terry Hawkins

Brandon Carnival crowds on London Road. Picture: Terry Hawkins

Archant

A rallying call has been issued for community members to help secure the future of a popular town carnival which could be under threat.

Brandon Carnival crowds on Market Hill. Picture: Terry HawkinsBrandon Carnival crowds on Market Hill. Picture: Terry Hawkins

Every year thousands of people take to the streets of Brandon to support the carnival, with numerous organisations taking part in the summer event.

However this year’s carnival, due to take place on Sunday, June 3, could be cancelled if volunteers to help organise it are not found.

It comes after one of the two organisers, Gary Brocklehurst, decided to step down due to stress-related issues.

“My health and mind at the moment is not in the right place for it,” he said.

Gary Brocklehurst is pictured third from right, along with the other organisers and helps of the Best of Brandon Awards (from left): Ann Elrick, Terry Hawkins, Lianne Spooner,  Jenny Brocklehurst and Lydia Owen. Picture: BrightStar Designs and PhotographyGary Brocklehurst is pictured third from right, along with the other organisers and helps of the Best of Brandon Awards (from left): Ann Elrick, Terry Hawkins, Lianne Spooner, Jenny Brocklehurst and Lydia Owen. Picture: BrightStar Designs and Photography

“It is like I am standing down at almost the last minute and I feel bad about it but I have to make this decision. Your health comes first.

“Sometimes you have a problem and you ignore it until you get to a certain point. I thought I could manage and it has got to a point that I cannot.”

Mr Brocklehurst, along with Terry Hawkins, revived the carnival in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee following a 15-year absence.

There is a small parade up London Road to the High Street and such is the carnival’s popularity, last year applications to have stalls had to be turned away.

Brandon Carnival 2016Brandon Carnival 2016

The 58-year-old said he fears if community members do not come forward to offer their help, this year’s event will have to be cancelled and it may impact future carnivals.

He said: “To stop after five years, it would be a real shame. It really is all down to members of the community to come forward and offer Terry some help.

“It is the biggest event that Brandon puts on every year and it is really well supported. All of the community groups get involved. “The turnout we get is absolutely unbelievable, it really is. It just seems to catch people’s imaginations. The community spirit in Brandon is brilliant.”

Mr Brocklehurst hopes four or five people will come forward, so a committee can be formed and the work shared out.

He added: “You put your heart and soul into it and it has been fun. It is infectious. There is no doubt about it, it is hard work on the day but you get a buzz out of it.”

If you are interested in volunteering, email Terry Hawkins at info@brandoncarnival.co.uk

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