Fleetwood Transport Festival saved

FLEETWOOD Transport Festival has been saved for 2007.

Organisers were on the brink of pulling the plug on the biggest event in the town's calendar.

But an eleventh-hour plea for extra help has produced four new committee members – just enough for it to carry on and attract thousands of visitors as usual.

Tram Sunday brings in thousands of visitors every year and traders feared they would be hit hard in the pocket if it was axed.

Chairman Keith Yates today told The Gazette: "We have four extra people involved and they have skills that we can draw on.

"We are now working flat out to ensure it's going to be better than the year before.

"But we still need more people.

"We have had no response from local businesses and two of the people are from out of town.

"One lady is an accountant and can help us with marketing. She has worked with other groups before."

The decision has also been made after local charities said they would suffer a body blow by not being able to raise funds on that day.

Mr Yates said: "We felt that even though the response was disappointing and the plans are not that far advanced that we couldn't cancel – it would take about two hours – there are so many worthwhile and needy organisations within the town that we personally felt we would have let the town down badly if we didn't run it.

"These are the people we run it for and the ones we want to benefit."

One of the worst-hit would have been Fleetwood Senior Citizens' Club which makes around 800 on the day with a tombola and by selling drinks and bacon rolls.

Chair Dorothy Palmerton said: "This is wonderful news.

"The money made on that day is a bit of surplus and helps cope with shocks over a period.

"If we lost it, it would not mean us shutting down but after a few years things would have got very tight.

"Let's hope this helps the festival committee get more people involved when they realise how important it is to the town.

"Tram Sunday is a absolute delight. Why the town doesn't make more of it I don't know."

Among traders who had been concerned about the festival was chip shop proprietor Chris Richardson.

He said: "I'm glad it hasn't been cancelled

"It's good news for the town generally.

"For us, the day was a good bonus."