Pimp My Barrow was set to return before pandemic struck

Uea(su) had been discussing proposals to bring back Pimp My Barrow (PMB) for months before the coronavirus pandemic meant their plans could not go ahead. Minutes released by Uea(su) show the SU had agreed in principle to a reimagined PMB in a new venue outside Nelson Court.

PMB was originally run by students, but Uea(su) took the event over to make sure the event was run safely. Last year Uea(su) cancelled PMB for safety reasons. The SU worried especially about risks of overcrowding and a crush of people in the Square. There were also worries about students receiving cuts from broken glass.

In March this year Uea(su) agreed the new event “would have the traditional elements of PMB… there would be wheelbarrows, fancy dress and money raised would go to the Big C charity”. Suggestions from some SU officers that the revamped event should focus on “wheelbarrow racing rather than drinking” were met by opposition in particular from Activities and Opportunities Officer Ali Perez and Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer Amelia Trew. The plan for a revamped PMB included a proviso that students would be able to bring their own drinks as long as they were either in cans or plastic, and the LCR would also serve drinks, conditions the SU said a licencing official were content with. SU management believed the event would carry a level of risk similar to that of Exit Ball.

Sam Powell, 22, is a biology student in his final year at UEA. He said: “I was absolutely gutted to find out that Pimp My Barrow would have made it’s return this year. Getting dressed up, packing into the square and drinking all day with your best mates made for undoubtedly my favourite day from my time at UEA”. Many students will hope PMB will return in future, although this may rely on whether the SU can survive the ‘cash crisis’ it currently faces.

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Chris Matthews

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May 2022
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