The future of Burnham-On-Sea’s threatened carnival looks a lot brighter after more than 150 supporters packed a public meeting on Wednesday evening (May 3rd) to offer their help to keep the annual event running.
There was standing room only at the town’s Ritz Social Club as local residents and supporters filled the venue to hear Carnival Chairman Mike Young address the crowd (as pictured above). He vowed: “The Carnival in Burnham cannot die.”
He outlined the problems that the event is facing with a lack of marshalls and people to help with physical tasks such as putting up crowd barriers, distributing signs and parking cones, and overseeing disabled parking areas.
Mr Young added: “Last year, the physical work was left to just four people. They had a huge amount of work to deal with. We only got there by the skin of our teeth and if we are to guarantee the public’s safety, we must have more volunteers.”
Dozens of volunteer forms were distributed to the audience for them to provide personal details and specify how they could help. At the end of the meeting, the forms were handed back in – much to the delight of committee members (as pictured below).
The chairman told the audience: “I’m delighted to see such support here tonight. I am almost overwhelmed by it. It’s superb that such a large amount of people have come along.”
“If this translates into physical help, we’re back on the road. I’ve received many telephone calls from people who have came forward over the last few days to offer their help so if we add them to tonight’s support, I think we shall be OK.”
Earlier in the meeting, one local resident asked whether less money could be handed to local charities and more funds directed towards funding marshalls instead, but Mr Young replied: “I don’t want to tap into the amount of money raised for charity.”
Another resident, David Hall, told the audience: “The carnival is fantastic for the town. To lose it would be so detrimental. It’s such a spectacular event; it cannot die.”
Burnham and Highbridge Carnival Committee will meet again over the next few days to make the final decision on the event’s future.
Speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com after the event, committee member Malcolm Borland (who is pictured right during a TV interview about the carnival) said: “I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged to see the amount of people here tonight.”
“It all looks pretty positive now.”