Sidmouth Carnival heatache for majorettes

PUBLISHED: 15:13 20 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:25 18 June 2010

SCORES of dancers and baton twirlers have been left disappointed after they were snubbed by Sidmouth Carnival organisers.

SCORES of dancers and baton twirlers have been left disappointed after they were snubbed by Sidmouth Carnival organisers.

Several majorette troupes have been told they will not feature in next Saturday's festivities after complaints their involvement slowed down last year's procession.

Only majorettes from Lyme Regis will feature next weekend, along with groups of cheerleaders.

Seaton's Fire and Ice Majorettes have been among those refused entry.

Troupe member mum Trudi Franlkin told the Herald more than 70 girls and their families, who were looking forward to watching the fun, have been left disappointed.

She said: "I find this treatment disgusting. After fundraising with the group for more than 12 months for new uniforms, it would have been nice if they could have been on display.

"I was born in Sidmouth, and, when young, always entered the carnival. There was never any rules as to the amount of walking entries you could have, why now is someone dictating that people are not welcome?"

The Axminster-based Karizma troop, which boasts Sidmouth College students among its ranks, has also been left upset by the decision.

Stuart Hughes, outgoing chairman of the Sidmouth Carnival Committee, said the decision was made for "the benefit of the carnival."

He said: "The biggest complaint from people was we had too many majorette troops and the procession was so slow people went home before the floats got there.

"Following last year's carnival and the amount of complaints there were about how slow it was, we decided the amount of majorettes taking part should be just one troop.

"Majorettes may feel aggrieved that they are not in the procession, the thing is everybody was saying there are far too many (majorettes), and, when you reflect on it, it spoils the route making stop then start, stop then start. You can't have lots of troops and that has been taken on board by quite a few of the carnivals.

"To have hundreds of majorettes would be unfair on all the other entrants.

"Lyme Regis was the first troop I booked when I took over the running of the carnival committee 16 years ago. We want a free-flowing carnival.


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