Hellesdon carnival could be revived after one year absence
- Credit: Steve Adams
Residents of Hellesdon have refused to be robbed of their annual celebration as their summer carnival looks set to be revived after a one year absence.
In February it was announced the Hellesdon carnival; one of the biggest dates in the local calendar, was being cancelled following a disagreement between the organisers and the parish council.
But now event organiser Wayne Bartle has stepped in to save the fixture, and promises to build on the strong foundations of the community festivities.
He has enlisted the help of former carnival committee chairman Des Jones-Blackett as a liaison, and says talks are in their early stages with sponsors and the parish council.
'We are going to keep it exactly how the old layout was on the recreation ground, but we want to make it bigger and better,' said Mr Bartle, 32.
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The carnival, which started back in 1995 when it was established as a celebration of VJ Day, was due to have its 22nd running on June 19 but has now been cancelled. While it is now too late to rescue the 2016 event, work is already underway planning for 2017.
'For it not to be happening this year is a big loss to the area, and all the businesses and schools are upset it is not going ahead,' Mr Bartle added. 'What would Norwich be without the Lord Mayor's? It is a real part of the community.
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'Because it has been running for so many years this is something we felt needed to happen again to bring the community together. There is nothing else in the area like it.'
The event hit difficulties after four members of the previous carnival committee resigned as a result of audits and restrictions from Hellesdon Parish Council.
The council have previously said: 'The carnival has grown significantly over the last few years and has placed more and more demands on the parish council by way of staffing before and on the day of the event and the ever increasing numbers of new statutory duties that parish councils have to undertake. This has meant that there is a limited capacity to cope with events of such magnitude.'
They added anyone wishing to put on a new carnival would be able to hire the recreation ground from them 'without having to work within the compliance of local government.'
Now Mr Bartle, from Hellesdon, is being joined by husband and wife team Robert and Francesca Moser to organise a new carnival committee.
'Last year we understand about 7,000 people attended, and we feel now is probably a good time to make it a little bit bigger,' he said. 'We are not looking just to advertise for Hellesdon, and we are in talks with a company to put banners up right across Norwich. We will be riding off the back of the old carnival, but this is a new start. 'At this stage we just want to know what people are looking for and are very much in the planning stages. There is a lot we are hoping to do, like a craft fair inside during the day, and we are in talks about carrying on evening entertainment with the possibility of fireworks.
'In the future, we would possibly be looking at holding it across two days.'
Anyone interested in contributing to the carnival committee or sponsoring the event should visit www.hellesdoncarnival.co.uk.