David Brayshaw column

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.
Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

I had a meeting last week with Graham Fisher, the owner and operator of the best It’s A Knockout show in the UK, and we’ve managed to get him to bring his show to Morecambe for the carnival.

What is even more exciting is that this will be a brand new for 2015 carnival themed show; what could be more appropriate?

The show will be set up in the Bay Arena, opposite the Winter Gardens, and will be running on the Saturday (May 2).

There will be two separate shows on the day with the eventual winners being awarded the inaugural Carnival It’s A Knockout Challenge Trophy.

We will have 18 teams with ten persons to a team and, even though we haven’t got the application form on line yet, we’ve already got teams applying for places. This is going to be an absolutely fantastic addition to the carnival but be warned, entrants will get very wet and soapy.

People may recall that following MC14, we requested feedback from visitors. We put a short questionnaire on our website and asked for comments. This was to give our committee an idea of what visitors to the carnival had enjoyed and what they’d like to see at future carnivals.

Two of the themes running through the feedback which we received were requests to see the Red Arrows and requests to bring back Womad.

I was actually hoping that the requests would be a little easier, something like get some donkeys or give the organiser free Strongbow, are two which spring to mind.

The Red Arrows request did pique my interest through, so I made enquiries with the RAF display team but found that the Red Arrows don’t start their displays until June.

Also, they cost around £10,000. My second choice was a Harrier Jump Jet, I remember that one of these visited Morecambe a few years ago and it was a spectacular thing to witness.

Alas, there are no Harrier’s left in the UK which are available for displays. Instead we were offered a World War Two display team: Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane and these were just about within our budget.

We had to swap the Lancaster for a Dakota but hey, we can live with that and we’ve had unofficial word that our application has been successful so, on Saturday, May 2 we will have a full aerial display from the WWII display team to add to the many free attractions already on offer.

As for the request for Womad: we have booked the date of Sunday August 2nd for a new event which is to be called The World of Music and Food Festival.

As well as the Batala Drummers from 17 different countries, we will have lots of other live world music along with food and beers from around the world too. As good as Womad? Probably not, but it’s a start and hopefully the beginning of another annual festival to bring visitors to the town.