Chairman to quit carnival

Every fund-raising event made a loss last year.

Lack of public support for fund-raising events means Bill Austin is no longer prepared to serve as chairman of Honiton and District Carnival.

He will stand down after six years at the helm later this month and is urging anybody who thinks they can help the carnival to step forward.

“Every fund-raising event we held last year made a loss,” he told the Midweek Herald.

Mr Austin, 59, said he was disappointed there is “no money to give away to local charities”.


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“If it wasn’t for our loyal sponsors, there would be no carnival,” he said.

“At the Christmas bingo, we had four people from Sidvale Carnival Club there to support us and seven members of the public.

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“Again, we lost money. By the time you’ve booked the hall...

“It’s the quickest way to go under.”

Mr Austin, who runs his own business, added: “Whatever we did lost money - even the table top sales.”

He will stand down at the carnival’s annual meeting on March 22.

The meeting will take place at Turks Head Lodge at 7.30pm.

Carnival president Myrtle Harris said: “Bill has put a tremendous amount of effort into keeping the carnival going, chivvying everyone along and being the spearhead of it all.

“There is a band of loyal members on the committee, and it is a growing committee, with younger members, but we need the support of the public.”

Mrs Harris, who single-handedly collects over �2,000 from sponsors every year, added: “We’ve got 20 loyal sponsors who pay �110 each.

“Because of the economy, we can’t put that up - even though the cost of running the carnival goes up every year.

“The sponsors have been marvellous; it’s only a phone call and they all say ‘yes’.”

She agreed with Mr Austin that, without the sponsors, there would be no carnival in Honiton.

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