Bideford carnival secretary retires

BIDEFORD Carnival secretary Mike Harper and his partner Gaylena are stepping down from the duties they have carried out over the past seven years. The search is now on for a replacement or replacements to take up the mantle and help steer the carnival int

BIDEFORD Carnival secretary Mike Harper and his partner Gaylena are stepping down from the duties they have carried out over the past seven years.

The search is now on for a replacement or replacements to take up the mantle and help steer the carnival into the future.

Mike and Gaylena are having to spend more time on their business F and F Promotions, which supplies rock and pop merchandise and seasonal fancy dress.

They are also heavily involved in the Massed Pipes and Drums attraction which has grown steadily alongside Bideford's annual carnival and is now an important event in its own right, with more than 100 pipers from widespread bands annually taking part. They also run Bideford's own Youth Pipe Band, of which Gaylena is Pipe Major.


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"I just don't have the time to sort out the carnival, the pipe band, the massed pipes and drums and to try to run a business as well," said Mike. "So on carnival day I want to be able to give more time to the band and the massed pipes and drums."

Mike took over as carnival secretary from Gaylena's late father Mike Humphries, who was secretary for 24 years with his wife Maureen, who is still working hard on the committee and preparing the carnival queens and attendants after 30 years.

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Mike and Gaylena say they will be happy to help out any new secretary, but cannot continue the duties themselves. Anyone interested can contact them for a chat on (01237) 422477.

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