The Burnham Carnival 10 Oct 2008
With the Burnham Carvival celebrating its centenary year, RCYC tok a full part by entering a float. The theme was, obviously, going to be nautical and a crafty team of artists took over the terrace area behind the clubhouse a couple of weeks beforehand. The Otters got busy with the paint brushes and a production line of sea creatures started to appear with at least some of the paint on the creatures!
The float turned up in good time for us to get busy but we weren’t really able to dress the float until the day of the Carnival itself. Fortunately we were blessed with glorious weather which lasted all day, ending with a warm and balmy evening. We started work at 09:15 and completed the float about half an hour before the tractor arrived. There was a slight hitch as we tangled with the trees just 50 metres after we set out but some prompt adjustments to the Oppie sails sorted that out.
There was no hope of making the Assembly and Judging area down Riverside Road so we sat opposite the Queen Vic and let the judges find us. Having walked all around us, witnessed the fine finish of the decorations, the complete fleet of Otters in box boats, the rather dishy mermaids (adding a note of glamour), the Crouch Crabs, the two Misses Seaweed, an extremely energetic Jellyfish under her decorated see-through umbrella and a Race Officer, they awarded us a Second Prize in the Novelty Class. I though we had entered the Topical Section but did not get worried about it!
Eventually we set off. I have witnessed many Burnham Carnivals but have never seen such a crush. Any hope I had that we would enact a little scene with the Otters starting a race was quickly forgotten…at times we could barely get
through the crowds! It was all very good natured and we slowly made our way through the Town.
At the finish we returned to base and started to take off some of the valuable bits of the float only to discover the two Optimists on board the float awash with money. The youngsters had simply emptied their full collecting boxes into the boats and carried on. We bailed out the boats, giving the counting house a mixture of cash and seaweed!
There were so many people involved in our enterprise that it is difficult to make sure that everyone is thanked properly. But it wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of Mick and Heather Hill, Kay Tavinor, Marion Aspinall, Trish Young, Emma Rigler, Gerri Blake, Lucy Ward, (new member who got grabbed!) Gemma Cahalane, Graeme Page and Philippa Munro who gave us materials, Kit Cole, Tim Knapp, Les White, the Three Kings and Wendy Eagling did the behind the scenes bit. Tony Ponder supplied us with the trailer and Tony Skeggs supported us with the tractor, driving us round the route – our thanks to both.