‘Cromer in its best light’ - Carnival chairman on his 33 years of organising the event

Cromer Carnival chairman, Tony Shipp.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Carnival chairman, Tony Shipp.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Cromer Carnival is the highlight of the summer season in the sunny seaside town.

And ahead of the first day of carnival week on Saturday, August 11, Jessica Frank-Keyes spoke to chairman Tony Shipp, about his memories of the past three decades of carnival in Cromer.

Mr Shipp, 74, became chairman of the carnival committee in 1985, and has been involved in planning 33 carnivals since then.

He said: 'Planning for next year's carnival begins as soon as we finish the last one. We have to get the Red Arrows application in before the end of September.

'They first flew here in 1980 and I think they've only missed five years in total.

'We have been very fortunate with them over the years, and we know they like to display at Cromer, and to fly over the cliffs and the Pier.'

As well as the Red Arrows, there are many events that return year on year, but the 24-strong committee aim to introduce one new event at each carnival.

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Mr Shipp said: 'Carnival week is a well established programme.

'We look at each event and see how popular its been, and we try to put on one new one every year.

'Everybody asks me what my favourite event is, and its such a difficult question.

'I enjoy the whole of the week. There are highlights like the Red Arrows and carnival day.

'I do enjoy the parade - that's one of my favourites.

'It shows Cromer in its best light - its the community of Cromer and the surrounding area that come out and take part.'

Mr Shipp said: 'The first year we had the Red Arrows was big.

'Others we've had where things have stood out have been when something goes slightly wrong.

'We've had bands leading the parade that wouldn't march because it was raining.'

But he added: 'It all comes together in the end

'One of the nicest things is that we've got a lots of holiday makers who come down year after year for the carnival.

'You really get to know them.'

Carnival brings thousands of people into town, with up to 8,000 carnival goers expected to descend on the showground on August 15.

Mr Shipp said: 'In terms of a total of people coming to Cromer, we've heard estimates of 70,000.

'There are extra trains and park and ride buses being put on.'

Are you looking forward to Cromer Carnival? Tweet your photos to @EnjoyCromer.