41 year-old Marlow event consigned to scrap heap

RThe 2010 carnival - Rose Queen Amy Barlow and Rose Princess Jemima Hay

RThe 2010 carnival - Rose Queen Amy Barlow and Rose Princess Jemima Hay

First published in News by

ONE of Marlow's longest and most fondly held traditions has been scrapped because there are not enough volunteers to run it.

The Rose Carnival, which has been going for 41 years, has disappeared from the 2013 summer calendar.

Crucially, the carnival raises thousands of pounds for The Friends of Burford School and for the upkeep of the playing fields, money which will now be unavailable.

Each year a Carnival Queen and Princess - pupils from Burford - are crowned - in a tradition loved by the youngsters. But there will be no Carnival Queen in 2013.

Worn out organisers have warned in previous years that eventually the event will come to an end because they can not carry the responsibility on their own forever.

Now, that prospect has become a reality.

Jason Batten and Richard Moss have been the principle organisers with the back up of a few other volunteers.

Mr Batten said: "It is sad the fact it has reached an end after a continued run of 40 years it's a real shame."

He was at a loss to explain exactly why it has become so hard to find people willing to give up their time to help but believes it is a national problem.

He said: "People don't miss things until they are gone.

"We've said before that eventually it will wither and die, that it would permanently go if nobody new came forward to help.

"It's the one annual event that the whole village can come together socially and it's a celebration for the whole community. There's no other forum for that."

He hopes some new faces step forward to revive it in 2014 once the news becomes more widely known.

But he added: "If no one comes forward its a clear signal that community doesn't want it any more and doesn't miss it that's the stark reality."

£7,000 was raised last year and this figure has been as high as £10,000 in the past.

Marlow Bottom's MP Steve Baker opened the event last year.

He said: "It's a great loss. Of course I'm disappointed its not going ahead it was great fun last year and ill miss going in the stock.

"But if local people don't want to volunteer then that's it. Let's hope it can be revived next year."

To help revive the event email jsn.batten@gmail.com

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