Warsop holds its annual Parish Carnival, on the second Sunday in July. It is always a great success and with all the great things that make any carnival a success; from Fun Fairs, to the Carnival Parade, a carnival (now Prom) King and Queen, hook a duck, food stall and entertainment. But with all that to have fun with, sometimes you just need to sit down, have a proper cupper and a slice of cake…
… and where better to get it than at the Inner Wheel Tea tent. The fantastic thing about the tea tent, is every year it shows the true spirit of the Inner Wheel friendship with Rotary. Together these two charitable organisations make the tent a true success. Working together, as individual organisations, to make one machine where the cogs whirl around, to become the driving force behind the tent.
The day before, when the marquee has been erected, the wheels go in to motion. Rotary members collect the chairs and help load and unload them at the carnival location. The tea doesn’t boil itself, so they help also with the generators and setting up the boilers and ensuring the tent is health and safety ready. Strong hands make light work, but without these behind the scenes guys, we wouldn’t be able to run the tent. Infact they were so slick and fast, that we didn’t get chance to catch them on camera. Next year! But if anyone is interested in joining the local Rotary (and we suggest you do) just get in touch with them.
Having set up, the ladies then rule the roost and my, do they do that with style. Considering that most of our volunteers think they are ‘of an age’; watching them in action you will see they had more fire, desire, smiles and energy than many of the younger generations. From 08:00 they were setting tables, with cloths, vases of flowers, leaflets, placing chairs and making the marque a picture-perfect location for afternoon tea.
We typically serve teas, coffees and healthy slices of cake at £1 each. In any given day, we will sell over 1,000 items to the general public. With all profits going to charity. It has to be said that many hands make light work, true. But carnival day is a long hard day and whilst we all go home happy and satisfied that we raised a very good sum of money for our President’s charity, we are all well and truly shattered; ready for a hot bath and bed.
We look forward to this day every year, as it is the first fundraising event for the new President and organised with the Vice President and the Club’s Carnival Committee. It’s a chance to see how things work, get to know people, chat (eat cake), promote Inner Wheel, (drink tea) and sometimes, shake hands with the local dignitaries.
Each year the President selects a charity that is close to their heart. The event went very well for the President’s chosen charity, Autism East Midlands (AEM). President Helen said she was ‘Blown away by the strength of positive feeling towards this charity. She was amazed at how many people had said they had never heard of it, and that they needed help’. By hosting these events, we want to raise awareness of ourselves and the charities we support. No time to sit and chat, the President was back on her feet and at the tea and coffee station, serving the thirst carnival goers.
Not only the volunteers who attend the day, make this event a success. There are those who cannot physically volunteer, but want to be involved. All cakes are donated by member of the Warsop Club. All expert bakers that would put the Great British Bake Off to shame. We also have to say a big thank you to the organisations who supported us.
Thanks to RoLo (Warsop Rotary and Warsop Big Lottery) who jointly granted our application for a new burner. Health and Safety was our key thought as hot water was transferred from boilers to kettles, with lots of busy people on an uneven surface. We can’t thank them enough for the difference the boiler made this year.
We also have to thank Morrisons of Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse for the efficient way they sorted out… Sausage Gate.
Not every event in life goes to plan. These should be considered as a valuable and free learning experience. So, when the Committee asked for sausage rolls to be ordered from Morrisons (by the way, purchased at a fantastically discounted rate); they were purchased from the nearest Morrisons. A volunteer then offered to collect the hot sausage rolls at 11 am on the morning of the carnival, on their way in, from their nearest Morrisons. Here in lies the learning. Who knew there was more than one major supermarket of the same name in the same area!!!! But thanks to the tenacity of our sausage roll collecting volunteer and the fantastic customer service staff at both Morrisons in Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse, carnival goers were not disappointed, but were delighted with a hearty sausage roll on the day. If that was the only thing to go a little off track, then we class it as successful day. Don’t you?
Having started the day with an empty marquee, that is how we needed to end the day. So with a few volunteer stragglers left, the marquee was cleared, and President Helen led the way, with trays in hand to take the cake to the people. If the cake eaters won’t come to the tent, the tent will go to the cake eaters. Walking around the carnival revellers now settled in to watch the evening entertainment, cake was sold at 50p, everything must go rate. There is nothing better than a pint of lager and a slice of apple pie… or so we are told. But it raised a further £20 for the AEM charity, so all ends well.
If you’d like to help out at the carnival next year, just get in touch. You’ll find our contact details on the website. Perhaps come to a meeting this year. Find a club near you in the East midlands, and if you aren’t local to Warsop then look at other clubs on GB & I Association web page.