And they’re off! The Great Knaresborough Bed Race

Crowds at Knaresborough Castle before the Knaresborough Bed Race
Crowds at Knaresborough Castle before the Knaresborough Bed Race

Crowds of thousands descended on Knaresborough today to enjoy the 48th Great Knaresborough Bed Race.

The glorious sunshine was welcomed with open arms by the hundreds participants and thousands of spectators.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Ian Baldwin of Knaresborough Lions who organise the event.

“We get better and better at it each year, it runs like clockwork now and everything is going really well.”

The theme of Myths and Legends was well represented with First Scriven Scout group’s epic representation of George and the Dragon winning the best dressed bed, pushing The Lido Loonies out of the top sport for the first time in three years.

Scout Group Leader Andy Knight said; “It was a lot of hard work to make it, but it looks great and it was worth it.”

Other notable teams included Knaresborough Town juniors who dressed as Dick Turpin racing a wagon through the streets of Knaresborough.

Although the team took part last year 14-year-old Jay Richardson was taking part for the first time.

He said: “I’m excited now, not scared about it because we have been doing training three times a week for it on top of football training.”

His team mate Dan Powell, 14, said: “We came 70th last year so we need to beat that this year.”

Another team hoping to beat their 2012 position was the Nidd Valley Road Runners ladies team whose bed was one of several Loch Ness Monsters set to swim through the River Nidd.

Fiona Deacon said: “This is the 10th time I have done it, it’s great.

“Last year we came fourth, this time we want second or first.”

Her team mate Alison Iles was taking part for the first time.

She said: “It will be difficult so I’m nervous but excited.”

Peter Broomfield from Team Red Beer was less competitive.

He said: “It’s all about the fun, and its about the fund raising.

“I’m raising money for Bliss premature babies charity and we hope to raise lots for them.”

The crowds were entertained with a parade through the high street before the race kicked off and the 90 teams raced around the town.

Lorraine Fail and her family came from Newcastle to enjoy the spectacular.

“We came a couple of years ago and loved it so came back, my brother lives in Harrogate and told us to come.

“It’s a great day out.”

Brenda Loades came from York to support her friends in the Nidd Valley Runners who have three teams taking part.

She said: “It’s brilliant, it’s a good theme for all the floats.

“People have gone to a lot of trouble to get them done, some of them are so creative the Bermuda triangle one was a great idea.”

She added: “This is the busiest we’ve ever seen it.”

Knaresborough resident Mavis Hall said: “The bed race is certainly unique. Knaresborough goes mad.

“I liked the costumes better this year, people have really made an effort.”

Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce predicted that local shops and businesses were set to make £350,000 over the day.

Steven Thompson set up a barbeque outside the Cross Keys pub in the town.

He said: “This is the busiest it’s been for a few years, the weather helps.

“So many people come from far away, there has been an American couple and people from Germany.

“I’ll be back next year.”

See Thursdays Knaresborough Post for a full round up and pictures.

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