Carnival collection delights organisers

Pictured are Pageant Master David Cooper, Barnaby Bee, Cllr Alan Shuttleworth, Bill Plumridge, Manager of the Arndale Centre
Pictured are Pageant Master David Cooper, Barnaby Bee, Cllr Alan Shuttleworth, Bill Plumridge, Manager of the Arndale Centre

THE recent Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival raised more than £8,000 with half going to charities which took part.

Around 25 charities will benefit from money collected along the route of the carnival earlier this month.

Organisers say the generosity of local people was tremendous and the money will be split between a fund to bring the carnival back next year and the charities.

An estimated 25,000 lined the route of the seafront for the carnival, which made a welcome return to the town after a 15 year gap.

More than 1,500 walkers and 50 floats took part in the procession from Princes Park to the Western Lawns. It was organised by Stephen Lloyd’s MP’s Commission and brought together by pageant master Dave Cooper.

Mr Lloyd said, “I was absolutely delighted at the return of the Sunshine Carnival and equally delighted the day was such a great success, with 1,800 being involved in the parade itself, more than 100 volunteers/stewards lending their time and energy to make it work, and a huge crowd creating a fantastic atmosphere. The success of the day demonstrated just how much Eastbourne wanted its carnival back.”

After the parade organisers faced the task of counting coins and notes from the 200 collection buckets and were helped by Arndale Centre manager Bill Plumridge and his staff.

“It was a Herculean feat which took almost 10 hours to complete, even with their commercial coin counting machine,” said Mr Lloyd.

“As we said from the beginning, 50 per cent of this year’s donations will go into the pot to help plan and sustain the carnival for years to come, with the other 50 per cent being split equally among all the charities involved.”

Pageant master David Cooper said, “This year’s carnival was a great accomplishment for all involved. It’s been a great responsibility, and although a challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed the job. It was made a lot easier by having a great team of individuals to work with. I am also thrilled we will be sharing approximately £4,000 with the charities and I believe next year the parade will be even bigger and better.

“It has been a steep learning curve but one well worth all the effort. As soon as we have fixed a date for next year’s carnival we will be letting the town know.”