17, 2012 Row
erupts over Burnham-On-Sea Carnival's move to Friday in 2013
of people have joined an online group opposing plans to move next
year's Burnham carnival to the night before Bridgwater for the
first time ever.
first reported here,
the Highbridge and Burnham Carnival Committee has announced that
the carnival will be held on Friday 1st November in 2013 - the
night before Bridgwater's event - making it the first event on
the carnival circuit.
the news has been greeted with dismay by carnival fans in Bridgwater
and a group set-up on Facebook to oppose the Burnham move attracted
645 followers in the 24 hours since Saturday's annoucement was
Holliday, who set up the group, explained to Burnham-On-Sea.com
why there is so much concern. "Bridgwater is the original
carnival - it all started there - and the town has the tradition
of squibbing dating back hundreds of years. Bridgwater is therefore
always the first carnival."
is a lot of shock in Bridgwater about Burnham's announcement.
The Bridgwater Carnival committee tell me that no-one was aware
of the decision and there seems to have been little or no consultation.
I also hear rumours that not all members of the Burnham committee
are happy with the move."
"I can see a boycott of the Burnham Carnival taking
place by the Bridgwater clubs and possibly other clubs if this
unpopular move goes forward."
stressed that while he is a member of the British Flag Carnival
Club, his views and the Facebook page 'No To Burnham Carnival
Before Bridgwater' are his own personal standpoint rather than
those of his club.
decision to move Burnham's carnival from its usual Monday slot
comes after concerns were raised by Burnham's carnival association
regarding this year's big drop in donations, which Burnham-On-Sea.com
survey of carnival clubs was conducted by the Burnham organisers
and "strong support" was given to moving the town's
event to Friday 1st November in 2013. The decision was confirmed
at a meeting held last Friday.
New, Burnham's Carnival Chairman, told Burnham-On-Sea.com the
rationale for the change: "The reason we have to move is
due to the lack of income at this years carnival. We have
made no secret of the fact that we, as other carnival towns, have
realised that a mid-week carnival is no longer really viable in
the current climate."
did state this last year and were hoping to change the day then,
along with Bridgwater and Weston, but Bridgwater picked the Saturday.
Both Weston and Burnham went for the Friday after Bridgwater as
that was the best obvious choice."
went to a vote at the county level and Weston were granted the
Friday. But that decision left our carnival in a very awkward
position, as we were struggling on our normal Monday as the third
carnival. We knew that the same night as the fourth carnival would
be even more difficult."
added: "We came to the conclusion that out of the seven possible
nights that were available, the only two nights that would save
us would be the Friday before Bridgwater or the Sunday afterwards,
but we did a lot of thinking about the last Sunday as well, which
would follow Glastonbury."
Sunday carnival has never been tried and out of the two Sundays
we felt that the first one after Bridgwater would be the most
beneficial out of the two."
was well aware that this would be 'Black Sunday' and the Friday
before Bridgwater may not have been a popular choice, so I suggested
to our Committee last year that we send out a voting form to all
the entries so that people and clubs that take part could vote
for their preferences out of the two choices."
added: "We felt it was the only decent thing to do and, in
fact, we were the only town to consult the entries. We know that
entries need towns to organise a carnival for them to display
their entry but, equally, we also appreciate that towns need entries
to make it a carnival! That is why we have done our best to keep
the entries informed as to what we were doing."
receiving the forms back and meeting with clubs in Bridgwater,
it was obvious that most people were happier for us to go on the
Friday before Bridgwater rather than 'Black Sunday'. That is why
we accepted this date and have opted for the Friday before Bridgwater.
Friday 1st November 2013 is therefore our choice."
are hoping that locals from Burnham and Highbridge appreciate
why we have done this and that they will still support us in the
way that they have in the past."
added: "This date will also give us the opportunity to get
other charities and charitable causes, along with any other of
our community's clubs or teams to get involved as this date should
generate more cash and interest for their organisations."
will be looking for a lot more manpower to achieve this and make
it an even better event and those who help us will be able to
reap the rewards for their good causes."
could be anyone from Scouts to football teams and skittles and
darts teams. We are hoping to help so many more community groups
next year and I am hoping that in the new year to hold a meeting
with organisers from these sort of groups to explain how they
could and would undoubtedly benefit from getting involved."
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