'Bring back carnival' – do you agree?
A NEW group has been formed on Facebook looking for support to bring back Sherborne carnival.
The group, called Let's Revive Sherborne Carnival, was formed after a discussion on another page – The REAL news of Sherborne – which suggested the event's return could raise community spirit.
There is a long history of carnivals taking place in Sherborne, although one has not been held for more than 20 years, according to former carnival committee secretary, Keith Batten.
He said: "When I started it was very small, it was a small group called the Lenthay Carnival Committee which organised the whole thing.
Thinking of buying a new computer for Christmas?
Save 10% on all Windows 7 Custom Built Desktop Computer Packages. Gaming PC's, Media Centres & More!!
Windows Desktops Only, Purchased before 12/12/13.
Package Includes Tower, Screen, Keyboard & Mouse.
Domestic Customers Only
Contact: 0845 0177033
Valid until: Thursday, December 12 2013
"Then it became the West End Carnival Committee, who were still small but managed at least one illuminated float.
"We always had lots of people helping out and eventually it became Sherborne Carnival Committee. If it came back that would be great but the problem is finding people who are committed to organising it."
Gordon Stockman, who was recently awarded an MBE for services to West Country carnivals, believes Sherborne could once again produce a successful show.
He said: "Many years ago, in 1977, I learnt how to produce carnivals by going along to Sherborne and helping out.
"Although it had stopped when I worked in the town 10 years ago, there were still people who asked me about resurrecting it.
"Nothing came to fruition but I know there would be an eagerness in the town to see it return. Carnivals can stimulate the economy, as they do in Somerset.
"They get groups and organisations together which is great for community spirit."
Mayor of Sherborne Dominic Elliott said: "In my younger years there used to be a carnival every year and when I was around I used to help out.
"While every other carnival seemed to get bigger, Sherborne's just faded away.
"It didn't seem to be able to compete.
"I think in many ways it could be good if it returned, it would certainly be something which could get clubs together and bring people into the town. I can't see any hardship by it returning.
"I think it would be wise, if anyone wanted to form a committee for a Sherborne carnival, to speak to the town clerk for help. As you can imagine there is lots of red tape involved."
The carnival revival page on Facebook is looking for feedback on plans to bring the carnival to the town in either 2014 or 2015. The page requests people join so they can see if they can garner enough support to form a committee.
Many posters on The REAL News of Sherborne page are keen on the idea.
Kari Margetts said: "I can only just remember the carnival, I'd love it to come back and show my little girl."