Carnival fever in Seaham

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CARNIVAL fever swept a seafront as a three-day festival came to a close.

Films shown on Terrace Green attracted thousands of people on Friday and Saturday, with UK Rock Legends featuring members of bands including The Animals, Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy and The John Miles Band rounding off Saturday’s celebrations.

Seaham Carnival.

Seaham Carnival.

Yesterday, fair rides and stalls filled the streets, with a climbing wall, wood carving, storytelling, an acrobat display and wine tasting led by Seaham’s German twin town Gerlingen were included in the activities.

Live music by acts from the area and tribute bands performed, while street entertainers dressed as Star Wars Stormtroopers also posed for photos.

The soldier sculpture created by artist Ray Lonsdale and brought to Seaham by the town council also created an added feature.

Campaigners hope to raise £85,000 to keep the piece, nicknamed ‘Tommy’ by fans.

Murton girl Emily Holmes, six, her parents Anthony, 36, and Becky, 32, her maternal grandparents Eddie Bate, 54, and Jan Bate, 59, and family friend Lily Dixon, seven, were among the families who joined in the fun.

Jan said: “We’ve just been wandering around the stalls and we’ve been down for the last few years, it’s good.”

Councillor Sonia Forster said: “It’s gone very well and everything has gone to plan.

“The music has been brilliant and when War Horse was shown, I’ve never seen so many people sat on the green before.

“It’s gone down a bomb and the UK Legends were also excellent.”

The Mission 1101 group, which was set up to raise the cash needed to make the Eleven ‘O’ One sculpture a permanent feature on the seafront, was out in force to collect funds and sell the limited edition merchandise.

Its committee members hoped to make an announcement to say they had hit the target, but held off as outstanding pledges of funds are cashed.

The town council, which has already pushed £20,000 of fund-raisers’ donations through its accounts to help save on VAT, is to donate £25,000, but it will take time for it to be released via Durham County Council’s neighbourhood projects fund.

It is hoped the money will be in before Monday, August 4, when celebrations are already planned to mark 100 years since World War I was declared.

Mission 1101 committee member Pete Carl said: “We’re very confident we will hit the target.”