A group of people working/living in Balsall Heath have started to meet to find a way to raise the finances needed to restart the famous Balsall Heath carnival. Representatives meeting are from the following organisations;
- Balsall Heath Forum
- Clifton School
- Tindal Ark School…
- Accord Housing
- St. Paul’s Community Development Trust
- West Midlands Police
- West Midlands Fire Service
- Birmingham City Council
If you want to get involved in this project please e mail
The Balsall Heath Carnival
• The Carnival started some 40 years ago in Malvern Street where there was an adventure playground for youngsters.
• The community was slim and atomised and the play leaders decided to hold a mid-summer event to begin to bind the community together and give it a focal point
• At first around a 100 people attended with 4 or 5 stalls, 3 or 4 floats and donkey rides. Its location moved over the years from cleared site to site ending up in Pickwick Park between St Pauls and Oldfield Roads with dozens of stalls, a long procession taking in both sides of the Moseley Rd with both walking and mounted floats on lorries and 1 or 2 thousand people attending.
• Key drivers of the Carnival were St Paul’s project and the developing Forum which sought and still seeks to bind and build the community and include in it all faiths and ages.
• Over the years many individuals played a part in contributing to the Carnival. But the agencies were even more important – all schools in the community, faith agencies and voluntary agencies. They would contribute a float, and/or a stall and advertise the event to their membership.
• Key people also formed an Action Group, with one pulling the floats and procession together, another taking responsibility for assembling the stalls, another attracting special events such as a Punch and Judy show, and sporting events in the park’s central arena. All would linger as the event wound down to clear litter, return tables to the places where they were borrowed from, etc. It was always a truly community event
• Key players were thanked afterwards with a view to already engaging them for the following year’s Carnival and building on success.
• The Carnival became a key feature of the community calendar.
• I wish all of you all the very best for the 2018 carnival
Dick Atkinson (one of the founding organisers)