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The End of an Era for The Bournemouth Carnival

It is with great sadness that the Bournemouth Carnival committee have decided that this year’s event (2014) will be the last for the carnival week which has been taking place for over 100 years.

Commenting on their Facebook Page, Chris Murphy the Chairman of the committee stated “It is with great reluctance that we as a committee have decided that this year’s event will be the last. We have struggled with a carnival route that is so quiet that we have seen our collections dwindle year on year and have been denied permission to stage our entertainment on the Pier Approach and in the bandstand”

The Bournemouth Carnival was a week of various activities aimed at children up to the ages of 16 including sand building competitions, chalk drawing competitions, treasure hunts and bug hunting. Previously there would have also been a procession through the town but this has not taken place for the past two years.

And the popular ‘Duck Races’ down the Bourne Stream in the Lower Gardens was always a hit with both young and old alike.

The full Chairman’s Report is as follows:

“Here we are at the end of another carnival week! The weather was kind to us and brought the children out to the beach in good numbers and fun was had by all. All of our events were well attended and we had some positive comments and thanks from grateful parents. My thanks go out to Tamsin and Jenni, our Carnival Queen and Princess, who came along each day to judge the competitions and to Caja who helped with the organisation of events. These young people are a credit to their families and to Carnival.

This year we had Minions in the Teddy Bear Stall and I am referring to the cuddly toys and not the staff! They proved very popular with the children and the foreign students and if allowed we could have sold them over and over again however the location of the stall was not as successful as in the past when it was at the top of the gardens.

We finished our week with a Gala evening at the Carrington House Hotel. We were well entertained by singers and dancers and some were lucky enough to leave with some lovely raffle prizes.

It is with great reluctance that we as a committee have decided that this year’s event will be the last. We have struggled with a carnival route that is so quiet that we have seen our collections dwindle year on year and have been denied permission to stage our entertainment on the Pier Approach and in the bandstand. This has left us with insufficient funds to stage and fund events in future years and has led to demoralisation within the committee. It is with a heavy heart, after 15+ years on the committee to wind up an organisation that has thrived for over a 100 years at the AGM in October. Each year we have advertised for new members on the committee and whilst a few new people have joined us it has been too little too late. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for their dedication and efforts again this year – I am sure you feel as do. I feel sorry that we are unable to continue with the beach events in the future and donate to local charities. Thank you also to the sponsors who have donated prizes for our raffle and events. We couldn’t have done it without you!

I would like to finish by saying how much I have enjoyed my time with Bournemouth Carnival. When my children were small we entered the competitions and watched the parade and then we were then lucky enough to participate in the parade, helping to decorate a float and then being part of the day. I feel sorry that all this has come to an end. I have met some interesting local characters and made some good friends on the way. I wish the other local carnivals well and hope that you thrive and continue to move forward and bring enjoyment to local people and visitors to our town.”

The end of an era…..it will be missed 🙁