Plea for volunteers as Sheringham Carnival committee thinks big for 2012

Town carnival organisers are aiming to double the length of last year's procession and celebrate the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a riot of red, white and blue.

But those behind Sheringham Carnival are calling for scores of volunteers to come forward to do bucket collections to boost the amount raised for charity and top up the event's coffers.

At a launch event last Thursday at the Lobster pub in Sheringham, carnival chairman Stuart McClean said last year's event had been 'absolutely tremendous', despite doubts at times that it would go ahead as organisers struggled to find enough helpers.

And, in front of an invited audience of town traders and other guests, he called for an influx of volunteers this year - and the 'full support' of the town.

Mr McClean said: 'The aim of this carnival is to involve people who live and work in Sheringham. It's up to us as a community to foster a sense of fun and to raise money for local charities.

'The benefits of the carnival go to the town because it attracts more people to this wonderful part of the world.

'But we cannot succeed without the support of the traders, sponsors and people who live and work here.'

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He said the theme would be red, white and blue, to 'celebrate the UK through the ages'. And he added: 'The feeling within the community last year was absolutely tremendous. We were really struggling to produce the events and struggling to form a committee. But at the end of it we came out on top.

'But we cannot stand still. We must add to the feeling we've got. We have a tremendous carnival programme this year and hope to have at least five full marching bands, which would be a first.'

Mr McClean said there 'wasn't a great deal of money flying about' last year. 'We noticed that there was a downturn in money in the buckets.

'There was a lot of copper and not so much silver. That, plus the small number of bucket collectors, was reflected in the overall amount. Income was �31,597. After expenditure, we had a surplus of �4,886.

'We only collected �408 in the buckets because we didn't have enough people. If anybody fancies giving a couple of hours that week to help out, we need 75 collectors to help us at the fireworks and the parade. This would massively improve our profits.'

He added: 'I think the worst is behind us and everybody is pulling in the same direction.

'In our wildest dreams we didn't expect so many people floats and children to turn up for the parade. But now we've done it, let's double it. Let's use the whole of station car park for the arrangement of the procession.

'Please, please get involved.'

? If you can help, call Mr McClean on 01263 824987 or Paula Popham on 01263 823546.

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