A DEDICATED couple are getting ready to relaunch the Wickford Carnival after fearing it would be forgotten.

Sharon and Barry Langmead have brought the carnival back from the brink after it was announced last year’s parade would be the last.

This was because Angela Guest, who previously headed the Wickford Carnival Committee, stood down due to ill health.

She has since died, and several other members also left the committee, but no one volunteered to take their place. However, experienced fundraiser Barry, 59, and Sharon, 44, from Wickford, saved the day and agreed to pick up the carnival baton.

The parade on Saturday, September 15, will feature about 40 groups with hundreds of people expected to be take part.

Mr Langmead said: “It’s unbelievable. The pipe dream is that it’s seen to be a major part of Wickford life.

“I want people to tell their friends who don’t come they missed out on a really good show.

“People have said we must be absolutely scatty, but hopefully the reward will be the High Street jam packed with people who will put their hands in their pockets to help our chosen charities. Success for me will be lots of smiling faces.”

Mr Langmead also hopes to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 for two charities and other local groups during the carnival parade and subsequent show.

The Sarah Kitchener Perrow Fund and Be Child Cancer Aware, both Wickford-based good causes, will benefit from collections on the day.

The fund, which is affiliated with the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, was set up after Sarah, 27, from Wickford, died of a brain tumour in 2010.

Be Child Cancer Aware was launched by Sarah and John Drummond and other parents to highlight the disease and how to beat it. Their son Ted, five, nicknamed Super Ted, not only battled cancer, but also fought back from the brink of death after contracting E.coli.

The parade starts at noon from Church End Lane, head along Swan Lane and High Street, before finishing at Nevendon Park for the town show, which will feature stalls, rides, inflatables and live bands. For details, see wickfordcarnival.co.uk