Campaign: Save Starbeck Gala

Friends of Starbeck Gala including Jo Nolan (l), Rev Francis Wainaina (third from right) and Coun Janet Law (r).
Friends of Starbeck Gala including Jo Nolan (l), Rev Francis Wainaina (third from right) and Coun Janet Law (r).

Soaring costs and dwindling volunteer numbers have led to the cancellation of the 2013 Starbeck Gala.

Community support on social networking websites was not enough to save the August Bank Holiday event, which has been plagued in recent years by wet weather.

Now, the Harrogate Advertiser is launching a bid to get people on board to ensure the family event can return to glory in 2014.

Committee chairperson Jo Nolan said: “Cancelling the 2013 gala was devastating.

“We really wanted to do it, but we need more committee members to support the workload. It was a massive decision, voted unanimously.

“Now, my focus is on Starbeck 2014: bigger and better.”

Volunteers of all ages are required to help with the organisation in the build-up to the show, as well as to help run it on the day.

Jo explained: “The committee works hard, but they also have families and jobs.

“There are members in their 70s, and you can’t expect them to stand up all day.”

Young people are urged to pick up the phone and take the opportunity to donate their time.

Mayor of Harrogate Coun Mike Newby, who lives in Starbeck, has thrown his weight behind the campaign.

He said: “I was very disappointed to hear the 2013 gala was cancelled, because I know what a big event it can be.

“But it is because of its size that the gala needs a lot of people to organise it.

“The more people who volunteer, the less work it is for each person.

“Hopefully we can encourage people to help out, I am sure Starbeck is up to the challenge.”

Starbeck Councillor Janet Law, who is on the committee, said: “If people don’t put themselves out to do these things, they will fail.

“Please come along and do it. We don’t want to fail.”

The 2013 Starbeck Christmas lights and fair are unaffected.

If you can spare time to get involved in either the organisation or running of the 2014 gala, call Jo Nolan on 01423888538.

Click here for the campaign Facebook page