‘Help save our gala procession’

The traditional Thornton Gala procession has been cancelled due  to a lack of volunteers.
The traditional Thornton Gala procession has been cancelled due to a lack of volunteers.
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Gala organisers have issued a rallying cry to help salvage a procession axed due to a lack of helpers.

Thornton Gala takes place tomorrow, but this year’s event has seen the usual procession of floats along the village’s streets cancelled to due a lack of willing volunteers to marshal the event.

Deborah Lindsay, who chairs the Thornton Gala Committee, blames apathy the for the parade’s cancellation.

Mrs Lindsay said: “Every year it’s harder to get marshals to close the roads for the procession.

“Volunteers are less and less every year, it was just easier to cancel it this year.”

Mrs Lindsay says since the decision was made a number of people willing to help marshal the event have since come forward.

However their enthusiasm has come too late for the procession, which has been held most years over the past century, to be returned to the billing.

Mrs Lindsay said: “We’ve had a lot of volunteers since but these things have to be organised weeks, if not months, in advance. It’s just apathy, everyone thinks everyone else is going to do it.

“It’s only half an hour that they have to be stood at the end of the road to make sure it’s closed off while the procession is going on.”

However, Mrs Lindsay and the committee hope the parade will be able to return to its rightful place as the highlight of the Gala next year.

She added: “We’d like to have the procession reinstated for next year, so need to appeal to the community to come forward and help.”

If you can offer your services for next year’s parade please call (01253) 853025.

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A tradition which dates back to Victorian times

The Thornton Gala has been held annually since 1899.

This year’s festivities will feature the traditional laying of the flowers at the cenotaph at 2pm, and the crowning of the Gala queen and princess at the YMCA, on Victoria Road East, at 3pm.

Also on offer will be the visiting queens’ competition, cheerleading demonstration, drawing of the grand draw and fairground rides and stalls.

The fairground rides will be located on the sports centre car park, while a number of side stalls and other attractions will be found within the YMCA building itself.

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