Yarmouth man’s bid to revive resort’s seafront Carnival

CARNIVAL floats brought thousands of excited schoolchildren to Great Yarmouth seafront every summer until the tradition petered out in 2003.

But Pleasure Beach worker Wayne Stuart, 28, is determined to revive the fortunes of Yarmouth Carnival - spurred on my childhood memories of the annual spectacular.

His grand vision would see a battle of the bands on the beach, a seafront parade including the East Coast Truckers and huge crowds lapping up the entertainment.

“I think the town needs something like this,” said the father-of-two, of Stafford Road. “I spoke to the council and they seemed very willing to have lots of stuff going on throughout the town and at the seafront.

“We’re just testing the water to see who’s interested - it could be something really good if we can get enough people involved.”

He has approached Soundwaves Entertainment in Lowestoft, is meeting managers at Market Gates today and a post on Facebook drew 15 responses from people wanting stalls at the carnival if it goes ahead.

While planning is in its early stages, Wayne is hopeful that the event will be a big success - on a date to be decided in July or August 2013.

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“I remember the last ever year they held the carnival and we want to bring it back,” he said.

He remembers samba bands and a parade snaking along South Beach Parade, and has drawn up a list of schools to approach to build enthusiasm for a revival.

Gerry Jarvis, 81, was chairman of the Great Yarmouth Carnival Committee when the last event was held in 2003 - funding problems meant it was to be the last year.

He said he remembers the event fondly, and would be delighted to see it’s return.

“The carnival’s history runs back nearly a century and it would be absolutely great if they get it going again,” he said. “If there’s enough support it could work and if anybody manages it I’ll be absolutely delighted.

“I would even help with marshalling.”

He remembers it was a “swinging affair”, with a float from the Britannia Pier in the procession one year.

While he and the late Ted Lees attempted to get the carnival going again in 2010, they calculated they needed �7,500 and only managed �500.

“We didn’t want to do it on a shoestring,” said Mr Jarvis. “We wanted a proper procession but didn’t have enough money.

“We always had a good crowd and it collected a lot of money when it used to run.”

For details on Wayne’s plans or to help, call him on 07413 440771 or see www.greatyarmouthevents.co.uk