As editor of this online paper, I rarely make comment and the only
personal things I enter are details about The Royal British Legion, however,
this time I am making an exception as I feel very strongly about it.
I had not been back in Sheringham for many weeks when I attended a show at
the High School which my daughter was taking part in. I went along with a
new acquaintance and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Some of the kids were
excellent, and some not so good, which is the norm. But all had obviously
worked very hard to put on a show for us.
On our way out, a lady a little way in front of us fell over. I immediately
went to her aid, but the person I was with said, in a very loud voice,
“Leave her, she’s p****d”, and made no attempt to assist. Because my
observation of her prior to the fall had been that she was dragging one leg
and walking with an uneven gait, I had already decided that she had some
form of disability. The lady in question had not had anything to drink,
indeed, she suffered from MS.
We can walk side-by-side with people and ‘see’ the same thing, but
individual perception of the event or occasion will invariably differ. Our
experiences in life make us look at things in a different way, colour things
Some people put much time and effort into organising events for the
enjoyment of others; some feel that everything is about them and that
organisers should ensure that such events benefit them in some way.
As is the case with Sheringham Carnival. In my last issue I printed a letter
from a person whose name I have on file, but who signed the email
‘Dismayed’. This person was unhappy with several things during Carnival
Week, but of those listed even I know or can guess the answers.
No closure of Station Road? At a guess this would be because the local
traders did not want it shut – this was certainly the case for the 4 – 5
years I served on the committee.
Local Traders not being told what is going on. Consultation always took
place with the Chamber of Commerce and I expect it still does.
Rescheduling of Carnival Procession. You never know until you try if
something will work or not – this was a better time for those of us who work
for a living as it meant that we could get home and changed, find somewhere
to park and see the parade – for others it was too late, children were tired
and it was getting dark. (Have you ever taken part in the Cromer Parade?)
I have taken part in many Carnival Parades, from large floats to small
walking groups and I expect that many people assumed from my shenanigans
that I had had a few sherberts before, during and after! However, I do not
drink alcohol, ever, but I can make an idiot of myself and get into the
Carnival mood without it! – Again, perception.
The one comment that really hit home for me personally was the paragraph
beginning: ‘So come on people of Sheringham’, if the writer of the letter
were to take the advice it gives, then I expect that the next year’s
committee will have an extra person helping out.
To go back to the beginning of this editorial and the said High School show.
. ‘Some of the kids were excellent, especially my daughter, and some
not so good, which is the norm’ – perception!
To finish I would personally like to say to all the Carnival Committee,
helpers, float makers, fancy dressers, barricade builders, street cleaners,
indeed EVERYONE who was involved in any way – Thank you to you all and roll
Below are just some of the emails I received as a response to the said
Readers Email 1
In reply to your `Dismayed` shopkeeper, I think it is only fair to
respond in support of the carnival committee.
I too have a shop in town. I have been associated with the carnival for 20
odd years, and although I don't take an active part in organising the event
any more I still try to do my bit.
Several shops in and around the Station Rd, Church St area are totally anti
street closures, whatever the reason. They say it is detrimental to trade.
Every year they complain if the streets are shut. That is why Station Rd.
wasn't closed. If Station Rd isn't closed obviously no events can take place
there, everything has to be done where the streets are shut. i.e. around the
bottom end of the High Street/ Lifeboat Plain area.
The carnival committee works extremely hard to promote the town and fill it
with visitors. You can count the number of traders in town (who reap the
benefits) actually involved in the organisation of the event on 1 hand, Come
on dismayed, front up, join the committee.
By the way I don't ever remember the parade moving off at 4.30. It has
always been about 6.30. To move it back to 7.30 to enable people to get home
from work, pick up the kids and bring them into town was a master stroke!
Here's to next years carnival and from this trader a very sincere thank you
to Mac and his team for everything you have done.
Readers Email 2
Again you have managed to upset the good people in Sheringham by your
editor printing letters which are **** by unnamed person (not for the first
time). Our world is not perfect I work at carnival and also work in town
this letter has some good points which will come up in committee which I am
not a member but why do you have to print letters from small minded morons
who not put there names and I am putting my name to this letter
Yours Graham Trimmer
Readers Email 3
The article from 'Dismayed' in your website, about Sheringham Carnival,
has moved me to a reply - I have no connection with the Committee, but feel
they must be defended.
Station Road wasn't closed because the businesses along it asked for it
to be open if possible. There were no food stalls outside shops because, due
to the large number of customers, shops have no spare staff available on
Carnival days. Those customers were lured into town by the very committee
about which he is complaining. The Carnival Caravan was at various places in
the town for about a fortnight before, but had problems finding enough
people to staff it - where was 'Dismayed'? Other advertising is expensive,
and not always justified by results of extra visitors. Anyone who bought a
Carnival programme had all the information in front of them.
The Carnival Procession was timed for later so that business people who
had bothered to have floats would not have to let their staff off early to
join in. Presumably he didn't bother to have one, so didn't see the point.
The High Street was packed, so it didn't seem to put watchers off.
The Mayor was out and about all week, I kept seeing him everywhere.
'Dismayed' perhaps didn't see him because his own business was busy and kept
him in his shop. Was he expecting an individual visit to his premises?
It is interesting that 'Dismayed' is not prepared to stand by his views to
the extent of revealing his identity - perhaps he is embarrassed by the fact
that he takes no part in the drudgery of organizing, whilst he reaps the
benefits in his shop; after which he will criticize the results. If he is so
concerned, and so expert an organizer, then he should put his efforts where
his mouth has been, and offer to help improve the Carnival experience. We
live in hope!
I think that these responses give you all a sense of the outrage
evoked by the letter from 'Dismayed'.