Wellington Carnival Committee Chairman Dave Rylatt reported that £2,877.64 had been collected on the night – £200 down on last year – but that the new initiative of selling LED toys had generated income of £1,830.85.
Dave said, “We’re slightly disappointed that donations are down but this is a continuing trend so the importance of LED toy sales cannot be underestimated; it’s simply pivotal to the survival of the carnival. We all understood that taking on traditional sellers who plague carnivals was not going to be easy but we gained valuable lessons this year in what works and what doesn’t.
“To make a bigger impact we took on an entirely new business stream as well as hosting 52 people from France and Portugal. We really appreciate the support of people in this initiative – and we have plenty of ideas on how to improve in future years.
“Many large donations were in notes mainly collected by our own Pearly Queen Madge Covey but the majority were pennies and two pence pieces. Clever engineers have developed technology to help us sort, count and batch volumes of change, but this technology doesn’t work so well when the coinage is wet (our first year suffering this) and it also goes haywire when it encounters foreign coins, acorns, Haribo sweets, leaves and other unidentifiable objects that find their way into the collection pots. We have hundreds of foreign coins (mainly euros) to go through that we’ll try to bank but Wellington residents must be travelling further afield as we haven’t been able to establish from where many originate.
“Carnival isn’t finished for the committee members. We helped marshall at Ilminster and our season finishes in mid-November when we help at Glastonbury.
Our thanks go out to all who donated to Wellington Carnival and to all that helped on the night.”
Wellington’s ‘Royalty’ are now representing the town at other carnivals in the South West. Miss Wellington Coordinator Angie Filler commented, “The girls represented the town at Ilminster on 1st October and are due to visit Chard this weekend. Their final South Somerset Carnival will be at Taunton on 15th October.
“As part of the organising committee, I really want to offer special thanks to Andy Bowrah and his staff at Wellington Motors who have supported Wellington Carnival for a number of years now. Wellington Motors are a busy company whose business is to sell cars; the fact that they find the time to put something back into the community by providing top-of-the-range vehicles for the girls is really appreciated as being transported to various towns in prestigious vehicles – complete with Wellington Royalty livery – really adds value to their experience – one that will live with them for the rest of their lives.”
As well as attending all South Somerset Carnivals this year, the girls will be entrants in the ‘Royalty’ class of floats in Honiton later in October. Honiton is part of the Devon carnival circuit.
Carnival Secretary Louise Brierley said, “Whilst the girls were at Ilminster, we selected the winner of £100 from those who purchased a souvenir programme and returned competition slips to the carnival secretary or WWN office. Thank you to everyone who supported Wellington Carnival by purchasing a programme. The lucky winner was Sarah Cole from Burnham-on-Sea.”