Tony Shipp looks back on 50-years in charge of Cromer Carnival
- Credit: Archant
When Tony Shipp volunteered to run the children's activities at Cromer Carnival in 1971, little did he know it would lead to 50-years of dedication to the annual seaside event.
Summer 2021 would have seen Mr Shipp oversee his 50th carnival but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 77-year-old has watched the anniversary pass without an event.
Both the 2020 carnival and 2021 had to be called-off due to a combination of restrictions, uncertainty and concerns over large crowds.
Mr Shipp said: "We hoped this year's carnival would happen but we held back because there was so much uncertainty...I think we made the right decision and it's only in the past few weeks that people have felt able to do things.
"Both last year and this year, come carnival week, I think I should have been doing that and I would have been there, you tend to go through that routine still so it's been hard, I have missed it."
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Mr Shipp said he liked to think the carnival would come back bigger and better from missing two years.
"We have already been talking about the possibility of changing a few things around and bringing in one or two events into the plan but we had such a full programme before it was difficult to leave anything out.
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"It's a case of whether we stick with it or whether we go for a revamp but that hasn't been decided yet."
Mr Shipp first got involved in the carnival in 1971, when on the spur of the moment decided to go along to a town meeting where he volunteered to run the children's activities week.
He took over the chairman's reins in 1985 and has since spent most of his spare time working on carnival projects.
Mr Shipp said after so many years of involvement in the carnival he could "probably reel the programme off the top of his head."
"Cromer Carnival is very much a family event and families come down year after year and that's why it's so successful."