David Brayshaw column: Time for schools to get their thinking caps on

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

We have been working on the running order for the carnival procession, something that I thought would be relatively straightforward but as ever, there are unforeseen complications.

We are hoping to have the carnival led by a beautiful horse-drawn carriage, expertly handled by Mick Gorry (come on Mick, you know you want to!) but then who goes next and how do we control what they walk through! I’d hate to have 50 Boys’ Brigade members marching through…well you know what I’m getting at. We need someone with a bucket and shovel ready to spring into action at the drop of, well, a…hat, of course.

We have applications from dance groups, drummers, a wildlife charity, vets, nurseries and of course, our honoured ex-servicemen. My biggest surprise is what we haven’t got. There are no schools registered for a float, either motorised or walking and there are no obvious entries from our ethnic communities.

I’m told that schools may have problems because the carnival is on a non-school day but that was never a problem in the old days. Surely there is a way to resolve this, maybe with the help of the PTAs? Come on schools, thinking caps on.

One of the reasons the Organising Committee chose the theme ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ was to make an obvious connection with the various ethnic groups within our community. The carnival is a fantastic opportunity for those groups to showcase aspects of their culture, of which they are rightly proud.

I, for one, have seen many local carnivals but know nothing of say, a Polish carnival. I’ve seen a Chinese carnival parade on TV and would love to see some Chinese dragons on Morecambe’s seafront.

We want to make Morecambe Carnival a modern, multi-cultural event which will grow and be something that we can all look forward to and participate in but, without involvement from all areas of the community, this will be slow and difficult to achieve.

On a lighter note, I received a lovely email earlier this week from Katrina, the wife of the one and only Frank (I am the Music Man) McGregor. She and Frank were so pleased that I’d mentioned how everyone loved his music at the ‘Nice and Sleazy’ Festival recently and she even forgave me for suggesting that he is 11 years older than he actually is.

I also received another nice email last week from Jim and Gill from The Craigwell who, having heard that the carnival was short of funds, offered a kind donation of money.

Of course I gratefully accepted their offer and hightailed it around to The Craigwell before they changed their minds. Now the cheque is safely banked, I can tell them what I really think…..two very kind people who, although not originally from the area, have taken Morecambe to their hearts and want to see it prosper. They also have a very nice dog!