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Full steam ahead for carnival parade (From Swindon Advertiser)

ORGANISERS are going full steam ahead preparing for this Saturday’s Royal Wootton Bassett Carnival parade after months of worry that the route might not be open in time.

The Bath Road bridge, closed as part of Network Rail’s multi-million pound electrification project, was finally brought back into use in April after six months.

Committee member Barbara Sealey said: “They couldn’t tell us whether we were going to be able to run the parade. We were having to think about secondary routes.”

In fact the committee spent time scouting out different roads during the first part of the year in the hope they could find a suitable alternative if the road was not reopened in time. But many of them were not able to cope with large floats.

“It wasn’t until the end of April that we knew we had the road.”

The news filled them with relief. “We were very pleased that the bridge work was completed in time for the carnival,” she said.

The group received a second boost when they found out the carnival had been chosen by new mayor Steve Bucknell as his mayoral charity for the year.

“That is almost rubber stamping everything we do. It is a very big thank you to the committee that the mayor of the town can see us as a valued group.”

She said: “I know it is a much loved event by the people of Royal Wootton Bassett and the surrounding area because we get 5,000 to 6,000 people come and visit us on the day.

“We have a small voluntary committee that works quite hard throughout the year at different times to make sure we make the event as enjoyable as possible.”

She added the injection of cash would allow the committee to look at bringing in new acts for the parade.

Among the attractions on the day are some old favourites including the Bournemouth Band and Swindon Samba.

“We always bring back favourites because we know people like to see them.”

George Scarrott is bringing his family funfair to the show field and street entertainers will amuse the crowds in the high street and Borough Fields.

The parade classes, open to local groups, will be judged before the spectacle moves off from Marlowe Avenue at 4.30 pm and wends its way through the town along Stoneover Lane, Station Road and High Street before turning towards Lime Kiln.

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