Help needed to safeguard future of port carnival

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FLEETWOOD Carnival organisers have reassured residents that the event will go full steam ahead this year after the shock news that Poulton Gala has been cancelled.

This year Fleetwood’s event, on Saturday June 25, promises to be better than ever as its coincides with the town’s 175th birthday.

But Carnival spokesman Lyn Riley said the town could not afford to be complacent about the years ahead as Fleetwood’s committee was now just six-strong.

She said: “We know this year’s event will be special and we are making great plans for it.

“However, it is a sad fact that less and less people can be bothered these days with volunteering their time and helping to run galas and carnivals.

“We desperately need someone to organise our queens activities, which is separate from the rest of the work and involves other events apart from Carnival Day.

“At the moment we don’t have someone to do that and the rest of us have to do it – and there’s only six of us.

“We really do need more volunteers.”

That was the difficulty facing Poulton Gala which, like Fleetwood’s event, had been running for over 100 years and was part of the town’s summer tradition.

Sadly, the event just couldn’t go ahead this year.

County councillor Geoff Roper, president of Poulton festival committee, said: “People have so many distractions these days.

“Why would they bother coming out to help with the local festival, when they can watch hundreds of channels on television?”

County Coun Roper added: “I have helped organise the Poulton festival for around 20 years and things have changed so much in that time, technology should make our job easier, but in actual fact it has made it harder.

“In the last four or five years there has been a real difference in the attitude of local people, they haven’t got the time because of work or other social activities they are bound to.”

Thornton Cleveleys Gala has not been without its problems either.

The event was disbanded less than 10 years ago before local mum Debbie Franklin, helped by a group of friends, managed to revive it.

As work on this year’s Fleetwood Carnival presses ahead, plans are being made for the choosing of the 2011 Carnival Queen.

The selection event is taking place on Sunday March 20 at Fleetwood Worrking Men’s Club, beginning at 2pm.

Entry forms for girls aged seven to 12 will be available at all schools and the Fleetwood Weekly News office.

And there are plans this year to involve past Fleetwood Carnival Queens from the llast 50 years or more.

For further information on this, or on volunteering for the committee, contact Lyn Riley on (01253) 779927.