David Brayshaw column

Picture this: giant puppets striding down the promenade following in the wake of a giant elephant with side baskets containing jugglers and fire breathers – sounds far-fetched?

Yes, but it could all be part of the Morecambe Carnival.

I had a meeting with ‘Naz’ Kendall, the organiser of the Morecambe Variety Festival. He was in town and wanted to meet up and discuss our combined marketing strategy.

Naz informs me that he has secured the animatronic elephant for the weekend, if he can arrange transport from Chester, where it’s housed. He then goes on to tell me that it lives with a number of giant puppets which could be brought to Morecambe to participate in the carnival.

All I need to sort is a curtain sided wagon and five volunteers to stick a giant puppet over their heads. If any of the Morecambe Town Councillors aren’t busy on May 4, please get in touch.

With regard to the wagon, I’ve got Debbie Cain on the case so I’m confident that it will be sorted.

I met Naz at Dotty’s Vintage shop on the seafront. I’m sure a lot of readers will know it.

I’d never been inside and so I was amazed at the amount of vintage items and clothing that was on display.

The owner, Amanda, showed me a hand-made silk, carnival Princess gown, complete with train and headdress from the 30’s.

The craftsmanship is superb, but it’s obviously far too delicate for anyone to wear but Amanda says that she’d love to display the gown somewhere. This is where all these meetings I’ve been going to recently prove useful.

Morecambe Town Team want to make Victoria Street more attractive and draw more visitors, the new Heritage Centre want a few ‘pop up’ tasters and Debbie Cain has so much Morecambe memorabilia in her lounge that she hasn’t seen her telly for years. Maybe we can ‘borrow’ the windows of the Visitor offices’ old building and dress them with a vintage theme using some of Debbie’s material as well as Amanda’s carnival gown?

This would be great advertising for both the carnival and Variety Festival and would certainly brighten up that part of Victoria Street (and maybe bring in a few extra visitors to the carnival too).

Traditionally, Morecambe Carnival encouraged fancy dress entrants to turn up on the day and join in the parade but, as I mentioned last week, we can no longer allow this as we need to know numbers weeks in advance.

I’ve had a number of readers contact me to say that fancy dress entrants are a must and some have even pledged cash to award as prizes.

We will be holding a fancy dress competition on the day for everyone to be part of whether you are with a float or just in the arena and there will be cash prizes awarded on the Bay Stage.

Right, I’d better be off and discuss this with the Bay Radio.