May revival of Kirkby Stephen gala day

Date: Monday 11th February 2019

KIRKBY Stephen is to once again enjoy a gala day after a hiatus of a number of years.

A group of local women, who all live and work in Kirkby Stephen and surrounding villages, have decided to re-launch the previously annual gala day on Saturday, 18th May.

For many years there was an Upper Eden Rugby Club gala day, which included a parade of floats through the town plus a funfair and children’s sports, followed by a disco in a marquee at the rugby club. Unfortunately this event died out.

As part of the revived event, there will be an abseil down Kirkby Stephen Parish Church clock tower to raise funds for the town’s schools, which are both in need of funds.

There is also to be a bouncy castle, giant slide, barbecue, craft stalls, face painting, an “It’s a Knockout” event and bouncy assault course, table top sale and street stalls. In addition, there will be children’s dance performances and a showcase of martial arts skills.

A parade of floats decorated by local clubs and businesses will also take place — including walking groups — and there will be a cash prize and a cup for the best float.

Organising the event are Sandy Lancaster and Hazel McWhirter, of Kirkby Stephen, Claire Lumley, of Nateby, Emma Awde, of Winton, and Soulby’s Abbie Handley.

“We are a group of like-minded individuals with a wide range of skills and children at the local schools. We are all passionate about bringing our community together again,” said one of the organisers.

“We intend to reinstate the once annual gala day making it bigger and better with the aim of bringing the community of the town and villages together by providing activities and interests for all ages.”

All the women have children at one or both of the town schools. Claire, Sandy and Emma are the chairman, treasurer and secretary of the fundraising team at the primary school and Sandy is also the chairman of the grammar school PTFA. Hazel is a former governor of the primary and chairman of the fundraisers, and Abbie is at present a governor of the primary school.

Although they are keen to raise funds for both schools, they say the day is also about drawing visitors from outside the area, and it is all being made possible thanks to generous sponsorship by local businesses. Anybody wanting to take part in the abseil can contact Claire on 07961 067017 or Sandy on 07974 754026.