Phoenix at the Oldham Carnival

Monday, 26th June 2006

This past weekend the Oldham Carnival took place, and Manchester Phoenix were there!  Diane Daley gives us her report on the day's proceedings.

Shortly after 8.00am on Saturday morning, around fifteen enthusiastic volunteers began to assemble in the Oldham Chronicle car park, to await the arrival of the 45 foot long truck that would be our Carnival float for the day. A convoy of trucks arrived a short time later and once we had found out which one was ours, we sprang into action, transforming our truck into a temporary rink.  Flags, banners and bunting were draped along the sides, back and front.  Nets were placed at each end and Danny Whittaker & Debbie Harding set up the drums.  Once Steve from Comtec had got the PA system working, Sandstorm was blaring out across the car park and got us all in a party mood.  Participants from other floats really appreciated our music and they were dancing on their floats too!
Matt Reynolds donned full hockey kit and Becci James emerged from "the locker room" as The Menace, complete with face paint and rubber chicken!   We were very fortunate to have been loaned a number of new season promo shirts, which were duly handed out.  With the arrival of recently signed netminder Matty Compton, the roster was complete and shortly after twelve noon the carnival parade began.
Dave Pullen and Dave Kinsey carried a large banner at the front of the float, advertising the club and Pendlebury Childrens' Hospital.  Volunteers Emily Heywood, Alan Delaney and Paula and Camile Goulding walked along side the float with the collecting boxes.  


With the two Matts as Phoenix New and Foster and Tommy James as Phoenix Old, the teams faced off as the procession made it's way along the main street.  It was a lively match, and plenty of goals for each two man side, although we did wonder who Tommy was playing for as he scored goals for both teams!  Our special Phoenix foam pucks were flying all over tha place and people (including some police officers!) were kind enough to throw them back on the float when they went wide of the nets! Mags did a great on the mic,advertising the club, the new rink and the charity collection and calling a few penalties!  The match ended with a win (we think!) for Phoenix Old.  It was great to see familiar faces in the crowds along the parade route and it was a fantastic atmosphere.  The volunteers did a remarkable job collecting and the final total raised on the day was £92.91.
Around and hour and a half later we reached the end of the parade, at Alexandra Park.  There was a mad rush to un-decorate the float before it had to be moved back to the truck depot.
Huge thanks to all our volunteers, who did a tremendous job. Very special thanks to Tony Hand for agreeing that Matty Compton could take part and to Matty for making the trip to be with us on the float and for helping Mags to pack up the PA after the parade.  He is a great guy and I am sure will be a big hit with all the Phoenix fans.  Last but certainly not least, thanks to Neil Morris and his staff at Comtec for all the help and equipment they sorted out for us.  It was a great day!

by Diane Daley