Arthur Herbert Leigh
Date of Birth (optional)
20th November 1942
Place of Birth
Ashleigh Terrace, Bridgwater, weighing in at just under 5lbs and my first cot was the bottom drawer of the bedroom chest of drawers.
Working hard at retirement.
What was your first childhood memory?
Somewhere about the age of 4 where I met my Dad for the first time at Bridgwater Railway station as he arrived home from the war.
Year first got involved with carnival
What is your favourite food and drink?
Traditional Sunday roast and a cool larger
What is your favourite holiday destination?
How did you first get involved with carnival, how many years have been involved and which clubs/committees have you been a member of?
In 1968 a group of us in the coffee bar of the YMCA were looking for something different to do and decided carnival looked interesting and in November of that year we came out as the YMCA Carnival Club with a walking entry. Of course we were bitten by the carnival bug and 1969 saw us with our first cart and entering the carnivals in the open feature class. 52 years on, and I and the club are still here. While we proudly bear the name of the YMCA, we are an independent club within the organisation and like all other clubs have to work hard at fundraising.
Best carnival cart you were involved with?
YMCA CC with There be a Debt to Pay in 2012.
Favourite carnival cart of all time?
Ghost Ship by Gremlins – a great achievement in its day.
Favourite carnival concert stage performance of all time.
Day at the Grand Hotel by the YMCA CC in 1979 when the club won 1st on stage
Favourite song on a carnival cart?
Best years of our lives by Modern Romance. On cart this gets the members moving and the crowds as well. What more can you ask for and no carnival party is complete without playing this.
What has been your greatest achievement?
The privilege of being President of the YMCA Carnival Club, the Bridgwater Gangs and Features and the Bridgwater YMCA (now known as YMCA Dulverton Group). Plus my invitation to attend a garden party at Buckingham Place in 2018 in recognition for my work with the Bridgwater YMCA which now spans 57 years.
Do you have any hobbies apart from carnival, if so what are they?
Growing cacti and plants from seed, visiting gardens and gardening shows.
If you could be Prime Minister for a day, what would you pass and why?
A scheme where our young people do voluntary work within the community for a year. Think of what could be achieved with the knowledge and enthusiasm of youth and the skills held within different generations within our communities.
If you were washed ashore on a desert island and you could have five companions, who would they be and why?
Si King and Dave Myers, the Hairy Bikers. Hopefully they can rustle up some comfort food and we can hear tales of their travels.
David Attenborough – I think he would be great company and I do like wildlife programmes.
Alan Titchmarsh – to help design a garden. What an oasis we could make.
My wife, Lynne, to keep my life in order!
If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about carnival, what would it be?
That more people join or become involved with the smaller carnival clubs. These clubs have as much carnival spirit as others, but they have to face so many extra challenges, when a few extra members or supporters would give them a better balance to their carnival experience.
What would you like to be on your epitaph?
I did my best but was it enough?
When are you at your most happiest?
Relaxing and pottering in my greenhouses. Here there is no pressure, and for jobs still to be done there is always tomorrow now I am retired!