Skegness Carnival faced with closure

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SKEGNESS Carnival is in jeopardy of finishing forever if new committee members do not come forward to help with its organisation.

The annual celebration which is more than a century old draws thousands of visitors and provides a vital fund raising platform for local charities and organisations.

However following the departure of a pivotal committee member and the strains placed on the increasingly elderly group remaining, an urgent plea for help has been issued.

Committee chairman Brian Chapman said: “We are getting desperate and if we cannot put it on safely we will have to fold.

“We need to make a make or break decision by the end of April.

“Anyone who comes on board will be welcome and will be given a lot of help and guidance.

“Do you want it to go or do you want it to stay?”

Long serving committee member Graham Dovey has stepped down from his role as treasurer after 23 years.

He was heavily involved with the carnival’s organisation and transporting stalls to and from the event and his help will be sadly missed by his fellow members.

A meeting was held last night, Tuesday, after the Standard had gone to print, to plan a way forward and recruit new members.

Ideally the committee would like as many as eight new members and it would be desirable if at least one of those could drive and preferably had their own transport.

Brian has stressed that people power is all the committee is lacking - finances are in place for the next two years of carnivals and the group share a wealth of knowledge and expertise on how to organise the carnival.

However with the year-round operations to fund raise and prepare for the carnival the members, many of whom are in their 70s need support to continue. If the carnival committee disbands, the town will not only lose out on a major tourist attraction and source of entertainment for residents of all age but also the Christmas Grotto which the it organises each year at the Hildreds Centre.

Mayor of Skegness said she was shocked to hear the news and would be saddened to see the carnival end.

“I’ve always admired the carnival committee because they put an awful lot of hard work in throughout the year,” she said.

“I am optimistic that people will come forward and I hope they do because otherwise we would be losing a vital leisure facility for Skegness.”

l To find out more about joining the committee contact Brian on 01754 761617 or email brianchpman@hotmail.co.uk.