Crisis meeting over Aldeburgh Carnival
A CRISIS meeting is to be held later this month over the fate of the popular Aldeburgh Carnival.Although the event continues to attract people in their thousands, it is suffering from a lack of volunteers, organisers say.
By Sarah Chambers
A CRISIS meeting is to be held later this month over the fate of the popular Aldeburgh Carnival.
Although the event continues to attract people in their thousands, it is suffering from a lack of volunteers, organisers say.
The carnival, which includes a High Street procession, stalls, entertainment and fireworks, has being going for more than a century, and some of the committee members have been serving for around a quarter of that time.
Carnival committee chairman and town mayor, Felicity Bromage, said it was suffering from a lack of active younger committee members who work towards the August event over an entire year, as well as volunteers for the day.
"We do need desperately young beef on the day to move barriers and things, and we also need people committed to help running the thing," she explained.
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"People are saying 'Oh how dreadful', but they aren't saying I must come and help," she added.
"The activities have increased and the need for on the day volunteers has increased considerably because of health and safety requirements."
It was a big operation to run and required a lot of effort, she said.
"It's a much bigger carnival. We need more hands," she said. "We are not asking anybody to give up their day and sit in an office. It's not like that."
Although "hugely popular", people were not coming forward in the numbers needed to keep the event going, she said.
Volunteers could help out with just one event for a short time, without spoiling their enjoyment of the rest of the day, she pointed out.
"The ones who are doing them are getting past their sell-by date, including me," she said. "We need to get the average age of the committee down."
The problem was the town had a population of under 3,000, the majority of them of pensionable age and many of them were having to do the jobs at the carnival, she said.
"Several people would like to retire if the right people come forward and I think one or two would work hand in hand with them to show them the ropes."
The carnival weekend is due to kick off on August 16, and culminates in the main carnival day, including a street procession with floats, on Monday, August 18.
The crisis meeting takes place at 7.30pm at the parish church hall in Aldeburgh on Wednesday, February 26.