Gala called off due to lack of support

A VILLAGE tradition going back more than 60 years has been put on hold because of a lack of volunteers.

Beckwithshaw Gala is usually held on the field by the village hall on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

But organisers say they are no longer able to set up the popular event and instead will hold a car boot sale and mini farmers’ market this weekend.

Jean Galloway, an officer on the Beckwithshaw Village Hall committee, has been involved since 1986.

She told the Advertiser this week: “Over the last few years we have been struggling to get people to assist with the gala and it’s just getting too much for the core people that are left.

“A lot of it is the lifting and carrying on the day - it was getting harder and harder.

“I can’t do it any more and my husband can’t do it any more. The core people are getting older - we do have younger people, but there aren’t enough of them.”

Now, the committee is calling for volunteers to help in the run-up to the day and particularly with setting up and taking down the various stalls, to ensure the long-standing event is maintained for future generations.

The gala had a mix of traditional and modern events and attractions, including the crowning of a gala queen accompanied by her attendants - something which Mrs Galloway said was a real honour and would be missed this year.

But she added: “It hasn’t died, it’s just in abeyance for this year.

“Rather than it be made a mess of or completely wear ourselves out, we thought we would give it a miss and try some fundraising. We’re having the hall refurbished and we hope we’ll get more bookings when the work is done.”

The car boot sale and farmers’ market takes place on the village hall field this Monday, May 30, from noon to 4pm. Admission is 20p with refreshments available in the hall. Sellers can arrive from 11am, with cars charged £5 and vans £8. For more information, call 01423 565812 or 07947 934559.

To volunteer to help with the gala in future, email

l Can traditional events like Beckwithshaw Gala still thrive in the modern world, or are people less interested in being part of their community? Email your views to or write to 1 Cardale Park, Harrogate, HG3 1RZ.