Chairman Statement

A Letter from the Chair of Carnival…Summer 2015

Well I can’t quite believe a year has passed and that Carnival is almost here again. As you know we have struggled in recent years with insufficient volunteers and at Carnival 2014 we made it clear that it would be the last if people didn’t come forward to help. I am delighted to confirm that we have had a small, but dedicated, group of new volunteers offer their support which means we have felt able to carry on. However, we can always do with more help so, if you’d like to get involved, or we have missed your offer of support along the way, please email me at jennylightfoot@live.com or call me on 01527 893659.
Despite the difficulties of last year we still managed to raise a significant sum of money which the Committee had great delight in giving away to 20 local charities and good causes last November. In all we gave away £6,200 which is a fantastic achievement. My thanks go to all the local businesses and individuals that supported or sponsored our events, the committee that worked so hard to put the events on and all of you that came along and attended those events. Without you we could not have raised such a substantial amount.
At the cheque giveaway in November we also launched a new initiative called Astwood Bank In Bloom. We have received a huge amount of support for this initiative which is why you may have noticed our village is now awash with of hanging baskets and planters all in the colour theme of red, orange and gold. We hope this initiative will go from strength to strength and maybe one day soon we will be in a position to enter the national “In Bloom” competition.
Looking forward to this year’s Carnival we are again kicking off the weekend with a Friday night event in the Marquee on the Carnival Field. Full details are available on our website but the highlights are that it’s a fun Casino Night, with roulette and black jack tables, as well as a host of other activities to keep you entertained. There will be a food available, a licensed bar and some great prizes for the most successful “gamblers” at the end of the night. So why not join us and try your luck.
Carnival day itself looks set to be as fantastic as ever. Our theme of Astwood Bank Does Musicals seems to have struck a chord with everyone and the Procession will be a riot of music and colour. The Procession leaves at the usual time of 12:00PM and is followed by an afternoon of family fun on the Carnival field (there are more details on the field activities later in the programme). My thanks go to SE Davis for hosting us again. We couldn’t put on such an amazing day without their support.
Later in the year the annual quiz night returns as well as Carols in the Park in December. Please visit our website www.astwoodbankcarnival.co.uk for more details on these events nearer the time.

Jenny Lightfoot, Astwood Bank Carnival Chair

Chairman’s Report 4th November 2014

This past year has been a rocky road for Carnival with some wonderful highlights but also some tough times too. As many of you will remember I made a plea at last year’s Open Meeting for more volunteers in order to ensure the continuation of Carnival. Unfortunately, at that time, volunteers were a bit slow to come forward which means we have held very few events this year.

The first casualty was the beer festival, Oktoberfest, which we took the decision to cancel as we didn’t feel we had enough volunteers to run the event successfully and safely.

However, we did manage to hold our Carols in the Park event which was a huge success. We had a fantastic turn out to the point where Santa started to worry that he hadn’t brought enough gifts for all the kids. The weather had the good grace to stay dry literally up to the point the last bits were packed away and we drank every last drop of mulled wine and ate all the pies….mince pies that is. I am pleased to advise that this event will be going ahead again this year on Saturday 20 December from 4.30pm in the main park by the cross roads. I will, as usual, be pestering you for donations of mince pies and mulled wine and I sincerely hope you can all join us getting into the festive spirit.

We have also had 2 quiz nights this year as they are always popular and both were a success. Although team numbers were down it didn’t diminish the competitive spirit and a fun time was had by all who attended. My thanks go to Colin who co-ordinated the first event and Lesley who picked up the mantle for the most recent quiz night. I am certain this event will be back next September but I think we may look to do something different in the early part of 2015. Watch this space.

Finally, turning to Carnival weekend itself I think it must have been one of the best Carnivals of recent years. We had perfect weather and the turnout was amazing. Ashley, once again, did the village proud with a procession to rival any across the UK and thanks go to Charlotte (and Deborah, Tim and the team) who took over organising the Carnival Field this year and did a fantastic job. We also decided this year to bring back the Friday night event and thank you to Lesley who organised the thoroughly enjoyable Race Night. We couldn’t have run this event without the support of the local businesses that sponsored the races so thanks to you as well. I am pleased to advise that the date has been set for next year, on the same weekend, and Carnival will be on Saturday 11 July. The theme is still to be decided but we will definitely have this in time to announce at Carols in the Park.

There is also work in the lead up to Carnival and my thanks go to Colin for again producing a wonderful programme, Alison for co-ordinating the raffle and Amanda for managing the road closure. Without these guys, and in fact all the committee and volunteers, it would not be possible to put on such a brilliant day.

At this stage, I need to reiterate my thanks to all the committee who work hard all year and to ensure the success of Carnival. It’s not just committee members but partners, parents and kids that all pull together to make things happen. Thanks too to all of you who help and support us each year as we couldn’t do it without you.

Now you may recall that over Carnival weekend we made it clear without more support Carnival would cease to exist and I am delighted to say that the village believed our plea. Following a meeting in September have lots of new members of the team who have pledged support to ensure the future of Carnival and I thank you for joining us. Obviously, we can always do with more support so if anyone here would like to get involved, or you know someone who might want to help out please let me know either tonight, by email or via our website.

I am delighted to say that many of these new faces have agreed to take on specific roles including the key roles of Treasurer and Secretary. Having operated over the past year without an official Treasurer I am really pleased to announce that Tim Jones has agreed to take on this role. In addition, I would like to thank Sam Dennis who has stepped forward to be our Secretary.

You may or may not be aware but Carnival does operate under a constitution and, as we have so many new committee members, I would like to take this opportunity to officially vote us in, especially the 3 key committee members (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) into our positions. At this point please say if you have any concerns or I shall assume everyone is happy with the committee as I’ve just outlined.

 

Jenny Lightfoot

Astwood Bank Carnival Chairman