Carnival may fold through lack of local volunteers

ORGANISERS of Axbridge Blackberry Carnival say they can no longer carry on with such a poor level of support. The situation has got so dire that the carnival committee had to fork out hundreds of pounds to hire a team of stewards for September's successfu

ORGANISERS of Axbridge Blackberry Carnival say they can no longer carry on with such a poor level of support.The situation has got so dire that the carnival committee had to fork out hundreds of pounds to hire a team of stewards for September's successful event, because there were not enough volunteers to help.The committee members say they cannot afford to carry on like this and have insisted the event will not take place next year if they receive the same meagre amount of support as they did this year.Members also now need to pay more licensing fees after new laws were introduced and need more sponsorship as a result. Even more pressure has been put on the committee's finances because of the need to pay for policing and stewardship.This year's carnival was buoyed by one the biggest crowds in its age-old history, but organisers say it is difficult to say whether or not more people turned up to see 'alternative queen' David Birch.Co-organiser Maggie Stanley said: "I would like to thank all those who took part in the carnival especially those people who volunteered on the day."Given the lack of manpower this year the volunteers had to work extra hard."Whatever people want to think in light of all the media coverage, the carnival has been put on the map and if sadly this year's carnival is the last we will have gone out in style."The committee during the year has had to struggle due to lack of lack of volunteers and committee members. "If we are to survive we desperately need new blood on the committee who want to take an active part in planning and running the carnival."If the committee does not manage to summon up more volunteers the carnival in its present form cannot be run again, even a smaller scale event is in doubt."Anyone who would like to discuss being a committee member or a volunteer should call Maggie on 01934 732797.


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