ROTARY ROUND-UP: Rotary Carnival shows that community spirit is alive and well in Worthing

Town Crier Bob Smytherman with Rotarians Sue Worthington (centre) and Marion Milton
Town Crier Bob Smytherman with Rotarians Sue Worthington (centre) and Marion Milton

This week, David Chapman, from the Rotary Club of West Worthing, gives an update on the latest and future goings-on.

This year the Rotary Bank Holiday Carnival was expanded to offer a three-day event, as it used to be when it was started in 1921.

It has proved to be a tremendous success, in spite of the threatening weather.

However, planning each year’s event starts as soon as the weekend is over.

A team of nine Rotarians from all three of Worthing Rotary Clubs have worked together throughout the year to put the Carnival together and will now begin meeting soon to plan next year’s activities.

Floats and stalls have to be booked, entertainment arranged, publicity organised as well as booking sites, organising road closures and keeping track of finances.

On the Carnival weekend as many as 50 club members turn out, some working from 6am in the morning, setting up sites, marshalling, collecting and counting the funds donated by the people of Worthing.

This year’s successful three-day event could not have been achieved without the partnership with ‘Bartie Presents’ a new Sussex-based events company run by Jess Estcourt and Rachel Gilmour.

This organisation has done much to bring community events in Worthing alive in recent years.

Jess and Rachel graduated from selling their own goods from their own stall at events in 2010, teaming up to run a whole range of events including the monthly market, ‘Barties Boutique’ held monthly in St Pauls Church and ‘The Emporium’, a fresh contemporary outdoor market in the town centre every third Saturday in Montague Place, Worthing.

They organise ‘Barties Beach Boutiques’ – two summer evening markets of over 80 stalls as part of the Lions Festival and the Rotary Carnival, a Guy Fawkes Lantern Parade, and the Firework Festival, the ‘Tide of Light’ and also ‘The Jamboree’, an annual food and drink festival as well as other events.

As part of the Rotary Carnival Bank Holiday, Barties brought together a wide range of voluntary groups and traders to create the ‘Beach House Festival’ on the Saturday with music, crafting and performances in the Beach House gardens.

Aimed at the children during the day, but with a concert in the evening featuring a Johnny Cash tribute act, it was a tremendous success.

On the Sunday on the Steyne there was all day activities with a vintage car show, live music all day, along with a range of stalls and food and drink outlets.

Photo features in last week’s Herald showed the numbers enjoying a colourful and eventful weekend of community activities.

Numbers have not been finalised but collections over the three days raised a record £3,314 for Rotary funds, and there is more expected from stall fees and sponsorships.

The money will be distributed to local charities.

Sue Worthington, chairman of the Carnival Committee, said: “The Carnival continues to be a pinnacle moment of the town’s summer, celebrating the seafront and drawing many people into the resort.

“It is very much a community effort and grows in strength year by year, bringing the community together.

“I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous voluntary effort that went into this event.

“I would like to thank the members of the Carnival committee for their tireless efforts throughout the year, all those who helped on the day, the many community groups who participated and especially the people of Worthing and the many visitors to the town who made it all worthwhile by enjoying the events and donating so generously to our funds.”

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 262222.

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 501961.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 01903 234957.

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