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Last year Aquarius SC missed out on attending this event because of public liability insurance problems but, undeterred, we decided to apply again this year. Un-expectantly this year we were only charged the entry fee and assured that we would be covered by the events insurance.

We decided to follow the Chestnut Sunday model and take our small gazebo tent, the club Graduate and informational handouts.

Nigel and I loaded up early at the club and drove over to the West Molesey Recreational Ground, which is on the Walton Road, where the event was held.

By 10:45am we were set-up and the Graduate was festooned with signal flags.

The carnival was due to start at 11:00am. but by that time some stall holders were only just arriving and it all got a bit chaotic for a while with people trying to build and stock their stalls, the organisers trying to get cars off-site and the public starting to come in.

Unlike Chestnut Sunday, which had a high proportion of “professional” exhibitors this event had a very village green atmosphere with lots of Schools, Scouts and Ladies Institute represented. At 2:00pm the carnival floats started arriving, packed with kids, having paraded through Molesey High Street. Nigel and I reflected that this was an insurance nightmare in its own right.

Our stand received plenty of interest during the afternoon. A sort of mixture of ex-older sailors who wanted to reminisce about their sailing days, Grandparents with grandchildren, who obviously didn’t want to be there and families with children way too young to take up sailing. There were also a few genuinely interested folks to whom we supplied information and hopefully we might see again at the club.

Rodger joined Nigel and I during the afternoon to help out on the stand and we were also visited by one or two existing and ex-members who still live in the area.

The weather was hot and sunny, we had a coffee and cakes stand two along from us, so all in all not a bad day. Carnival organiser reps kept looking in on us to ensure we had everything we wanted and by about 4:45pm several stalls had run out of stock and everything started to wind down.

If I was honest I would have to say that I don’t expect a great take up from this event but it did raise our profile in the area and put us firmly on the map.

My thanks to Nigel for all his logistical help without which nothing would have happened (i.e. I don’t have a tow bar on my car at present) and to Rodger for his help on the stand during the afternoon. Cheers guys!

Mike Baker (AQSC VC Programme)

The Molesey Carnival - Saturday 6 June

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