CARNIVAL 2017 – COMMENT: People will always talk about the Carnival collection
THE big annual debate after Bridgwater Carnival has again come to the fore – the collection and the amount of money raised.
The Bridgwater Carnival Committee has announced that the glittering procession on Saturday (November 4, 2017) amassed a collection of £27,060 – the first time in ten years that the total has topped £27k (writes Steve Sowden, of Bridgwater Press).
But, as per every year before, people have said that with an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 (at least) lining the streets – the actual collection total is a poor reflection in comparison to the number of spectators watching.
But no doubt in ten years, 20 years, 30 years and further into the distance – people will still be saying exactly the same thing after the Carnival when the collection total is announced.
The first time I watched Bridgwater Carnival was back in 1989 when I had just started out on what has become a lifelong career in journalism as a trainee reporter at a well-known newspaper in the town.
Reporting on Carnival back then was a lot different to what it is now. There was no internet, no social media, no live streaming of the procession, no digital cameras. It was all hands on deck for the reporting team and almost like a military-style operation. Great days and great memories.
But one thing has not changed from 1989 to 2017 – people talking about the collection and debating the reasons why more money is not being donated by the watching thousands.
In 1989 the total stood at £21,476 – which was then a record-breaking year and the first time the collection had topped the £20,000 barrier.
But the records show that it was only a few years before in 1984 when the figure was just a paltry £9,826. But something must have happened as the figure began to rise and for it to jump by £11,650 in just five years is impressive – so I wonder what happened back then for there to be a sudden rise in donations?
At the end of the day it is down to each individual as to whether they dip their hands in their pockets and donate to the collection.
Some of the people will always see Carnival as a free show; some of the people will always be frustrated at the amount raised; some of the people will always say that they give what they can afford; some of the people will always say that they did not get a chance to put money into a collecting tin.
But all of the people will always talk about the collection total. It is part of Bridgwater Carnival!