Weymouth Carnival organisers answer critics

Bournemouth Echo: TOP FLOAT: The Party Shop’s circus-themed entry TOP FLOAT: The Party Shop’s circus-themed entry

Weymouth Carnival organisers have hit back after negative comments about this year’s procession.

People have vented their feelings about the parade, complaining about the lack of floats compared to previous years.

Organisers were delighted with how it went, but said some of the firms that usually took part in the carnival chose to opt out this year because they had a bad season and wanted to concentrate getting their businesses back on track.

Torrential rain earlier in the day also put others off.

Motorised floats were successfully brought back to the procession in 2010 following a public outcry.

Tighter health and safety regulations and high insurance premiums forced previous organisers to leave them out for two years.

But when new organisers from the town’s Rotary clubs took over they were able to negotiate affordable insurance for vehicles, a deal which has continued.

Negative comments about the procession have appeared on the carnival’s own Facebook page and the Dorset Echo website.

Paul Holmes of Wyke Regis said he thought it was the ‘worst procession ever’ and suggested more businesses including pubs, which benefit from the carnival crowds, should support it by entering floats.

“We all need to get behind it and make it survive,” said Mr Holmes, writing on the carnival’s Facebook site.

Mandy Bussell agreed, saying there were “so many businesses in town that could’ve joined in”.

Donna Marie Mulheran said soaring insurance costs and tighter health and safety regulations had stopped a lot of carnivals and at least the one in Weymouth was still going.

However there was also lots of praise for the carnival on the Facebook page from both locals and visitors.

Comments about the procession on the Dorset Echo website included ‘utter rubbish’, ‘could have been better’ and someone noting there were ‘more vans than anything else’.

Weymouth Carnival supporter Jan O’Brien of The Party Shop, whose circus-themed float won an award, said she was confident more businesses would enter next year.

She said: “It’s true there weren’t as many floats, but I don’t think that’s because people don’t want to enter. I know three different groups which pulled out on the day because they were put off by the rain in the morning.

“Here at The Party Shop we’re troupers and will pull out the stops to be part of the carnival but I can understand that businesses have had a difficult year.

“I’m confident things will pick up next year because of the effect of the Olympics .”

  • PROCESSION organiser Stuart Bainbridge said there were 25 motorised entries, including lorries, vans and cars. Overall there were 44 entries, 10 down on last year.

Mr Bainbridge said the quality of entrants was high, but he was ‘disappointed’ some regulars didn’t take part.

He said: “When we contacted the regulars they said they had been having a poor season due to the weather and the Olympics and they wanted to concentrate on running their businesses. They don’t want to drop out completely but times have been hard.”

He added: “Those who took part had a great time and we’ve had positive feedback.”

Carnival chairman Roger Hogbin said: “It’s always nice to see more in the procession but personally I was delighted with it and thought it was a comfortable size. And of course we don’t want to take anything away from those who took part and clearly put a lot of time and effort into their entries.”

Comments (6)

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12:25pm Mon 20 Aug 12

mad lunatic says...

What a load of rubbish, there were nowhere near 44 entries more like 24 and they were spread over a huge distance. Dorchester Carnival knocked spots off Weymouth and Dorchester Carnival seems to be run by a small number of volunteers supported by other community volunteers. So how come the economic climate is only affecting Weymouth Carnival when Puddletown, bridport and Dorchester all seem to prosper ! And don't go blaming the Red Arrows, the numbers lining the street were there to see the Olympic Sailors and had they know the number of entries very few would have stayed for the procession.
What a load of rubbish, there were nowhere near 44 entries more like 24 and they were spread over a huge distance. Dorchester Carnival knocked spots off Weymouth and Dorchester Carnival seems to be run by a small number of volunteers supported by other community volunteers. So how come the economic climate is only affecting Weymouth Carnival when Puddletown, bridport and Dorchester all seem to prosper ! And don't go blaming the Red Arrows, the numbers lining the street were there to see the Olympic Sailors and had they know the number of entries very few would have stayed for the procession. mad lunatic
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Mon 20 Aug 12

Monmouthsman says...

The 25 motorised entries must have included the squadron of police motorcycles at the front of the parade and the council van at the end. Sure that the organisers went to great efforts to make this a success but the ungrateful and unsupportive businesses and clubs of this town have left them with a massive hill to climb to put on a good show next year. That would seem to take-in a very large proportion of the local population one way or another so after all hanging heads in shame a new years resolution to get involved next year is most definitely in order.
Well done to all those who did participate and helped to generate the carnival collection for hard pressed local charities.
The 25 motorised entries must have included the squadron of police motorcycles at the front of the parade and the council van at the end. Sure that the organisers went to great efforts to make this a success but the ungrateful and unsupportive businesses and clubs of this town have left them with a massive hill to climb to put on a good show next year. That would seem to take-in a very large proportion of the local population one way or another so after all hanging heads in shame a new years resolution to get involved next year is most definitely in order. Well done to all those who did participate and helped to generate the carnival collection for hard pressed local charities. Monmouthsman
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Mon 20 Aug 12

weymouthfox says...

I thought it was a poor effort. We stood at the top o Lennox Street and the procession was so strung out. The Carnivcal Queen in her carriage passed by over half and hour before the first float. Why were the Olympians not part of the parade instead of going on ahead.
We were standing for about an hour and a half in a cold wind as bits of the parade went by in instalments. Not worth the effort I say.
I thought it was a poor effort. We stood at the top o Lennox Street and the procession was so strung out. The Carnivcal Queen in her carriage passed by over half and hour before the first float. Why were the Olympians not part of the parade instead of going on ahead. We were standing for about an hour and a half in a cold wind as bits of the parade went by in instalments. Not worth the effort I say. weymouthfox
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Mon 20 Aug 12

johnxcite says...

Hi my name is John Palmer and i am the carnival chairman of Dorchester 2012, it is nice to see that people enjoyed what we organised as Dorchester Round Table we have put the event on for over 40 years. And every year i go to see weymouth carnival and have a great day out. People seem to forget that these events are run by pepole giving up their own free time like ourselves to put events on for the public. it is very hard for any group to raise funds for these events.Carnivals are about bring the community together and having fun and raising monies for good causes so rather than look for fault with them join them take part put a smile on someones face.
Hi my name is John Palmer and i am the carnival chairman of Dorchester 2012, it is nice to see that people enjoyed what we organised as Dorchester Round Table we have put the event on for over 40 years. And every year i go to see weymouth carnival and have a great day out. People seem to forget that these events are run by pepole giving up their own free time like ourselves to put events on for the public. it is very hard for any group to raise funds for these events.Carnivals are about bring the community together and having fun and raising monies for good causes so rather than look for fault with them join them take part put a smile on someones face. johnxcite
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Mon 20 Aug 12

wessex-andy says...

It's a free show for the public (unless they put some cash into a collection bin), so why all the moans? And why leave it to the local businesses to enter floats -- perhaps there could be a section for private family entries and then the moaners could show everyone else how it should be done.

When our children were much younger (back in the 1070's) we used to enter our own push along float and got the local St John Ambulance/Nursing Cadets to join in with us. We never won any prizes, but we had great fun.
It's a free show for the public (unless they put some cash into a collection bin), so why all the moans? And why leave it to the local businesses to enter floats -- perhaps there could be a section for private family entries and then the moaners could show everyone else how it should be done. When our children were much younger (back in the 1070's) we used to enter our own push along float and got the local St John Ambulance/Nursing Cadets to join in with us. We never won any prizes, but we had great fun. wessex-andy
  • Score: 0

10:15am Wed 22 Aug 12

niceonecyril says...

I think it's disgraceful that any business should use the Olympics as an excuse for not entering the carnival, so times are hard, they are for everyone. So where is the logic in any business turning their nose up at the prospect of promoting themselves to thousands and thousands of locals and visitors on carnival day, lets be honest, the reason they didn't take part is that they couldn't be bothered to support the community, shame on them.
I think it's disgraceful that any business should use the Olympics as an excuse for not entering the carnival, so times are hard, they are for everyone. So where is the logic in any business turning their nose up at the prospect of promoting themselves to thousands and thousands of locals and visitors on carnival day, lets be honest, the reason they didn't take part is that they couldn't be bothered to support the community, shame on them. niceonecyril
  • Score: 0

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