Return of popular Harrogate gala?

Flashback to families having fun at a previous Starbeck Gala.
Flashback to families having fun at a previous Starbeck Gala.

The much-loved but struggling Starbeck Gala has had a chequered history in recent years but it may be making a return next year.

A small but dedicated band of volunteers are calling a meeting for next week to prove rumours of the popular community event's death have been greatly exaggerated.

One of only six remaining members on the gala committee says it can happen - if the publc rally to the cause.

And the committed gala volunteer is warning without more support, the traditional Christmas lights on Starbeck High Street may also be at risk.

Terry Edmondson said: "The Starbeck Gala committee has not disbanded, far from it. But we need members to join us and we need funds to put the gala on.

"We are hopeful to have a gala next year or this will be the last year Starbeck will have any Christmas lights.

Held for many years in a central location at Belmont Field, scene of last week's completely unrelated fun fair, the gala's final location in 2016 before the current hiatus was at Harrogate Railway Athletic FC's ground.

The event had failed to take place for two years but then returned in 2015.

But the sheer amount of hard work for the dwindling committee eventually took its toll.

What seemed like the final straw came earlier this year when the gala's treasurer and interim secretary stood down after years of service.

Terry Edmonson said he hoped next week's Starbeck Gala meeting, which will take place at 8pm at St Andrew's Church, would help revive the event - and fill vital positions such as treasurer and secretary.

Terry said: "A lot of people think its just for the gala but we meet all year planning it, as well as the Christmas fair which help towards the lights.

"We have a small amount left for this year to pay for the hire of the Christmas lights for Starbeck, which people enjoy, but very little for the erection of them.

"I'm happy to put them up myself with Brian Busby but we still have to pay for insurance for the period when the lights are up."

For further information on the Starbeck Gala committee, telephone 07576927439.