2017 Dunmow Carnival could be last unless more volunteers join committee

Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Dunmow Carnival. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Archant

Is this “thank you and goodbye”?

Keith Wheatcroft at this year's Dunmow Carnival

Keith Wheatcroft at this year's Dunmow Carnival - Credit: Archant

As the chairman of Dunmow Carnival’s Procession Committee, Keith Wheatcroft retires from the voluntary position after 12 years, his fellow committee members are thanking him for all his hard work, but also lamenting that this year’s carnival could be the last, if more people don’t join them.

The committee had a similar problem last year.Fellow committee member, Kerry Prentice said: “Keith has supported our committee as chairman for 12 years, and a committee member for a number of years before that, tirelessly helping to raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

“Both he and his wife Val, who does the catering for our Queens Court on carnival day, feel that it’s finally time to hand the reins over to new members. They were going to retire last year but we were unable to find a new chairman, thus Keith continued in the hope that someone would take up the chairmanship, but to no avail.

“We want to thank Keith and Val for the many years of generous time and support they have gifted to Dunmow carnival Procession in keeping our carnival alive. As chairman, Keith’s shoes will be hard to fill.”

• Gallery: Dunmow Carnival 2017But Mrs added: “We currently have less than a handful of active committee members as I am also resigning due to ill health. If we can’t find new active members to join our committee, and a new chairperson, sadly this year’s carnival is very likely to be the last.

“We are desperate for new members to keep this historic great day alive. It has been running every year since 1951 and it would be a very sad day after 66 years to see it end.”

Mr Wheatcroft, 76, a retired Essex police officer who worked with special branch and CID, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the times and thrilled that the carnival seems to have given so much pleasure to people in Dunmow over the years but it is time for some younger, fresher ideas.”

Anyone who can spare a few hours each month from February to September for the carnival can contact the Dunmow Carnival Committee through Facebook.