Volunteers needed to rescue festival

PUBLISHED: 11:49 28 April 2006 | UPDATED: 21:51 28 May 2010

CHATTERIS Festival could be scrapped at the 11th hour unless volunteer helpers come forward within the next few days. The Festival Committee will meet next Thursday to make the tough decision, even though many months of planning have already gone into org

CHATTERIS Festival could be scrapped at the 11th hour unless volunteer helpers come forward within the next few days.

The Festival Committee will meet next Thursday to make the tough decision, even though many months of planning have already gone into organising the high profile weekend.

Committee vice-chairman Jan Fieldhouse warned the shortage of help could mean the town has already seen its final festival.

For 23 years organisations, churches and the town council have worked together with the committee to stage the popular event in the town's calendar.

This year's festival is planned for the weekend of June 17 but the vital missing ingredient is the lack of practical help on offer from residents, who are keen to enjoy the activities but do not want to be involved in other ways.

Mrs Fieldhouse said: "We have reached crisis point. We have made appeals before but still no-one has come forward to help. This is not an empty threat. We cannot physically cope with all the setting up, parade security, the selling of food - the list is endless.

"The festival is one of the biggest things in Chatteris and once it is gone it will be gone for good. These things don't usually start up again."

Practical help is urgently needed for the dozens of tasks needed to make a success. This can vary from setting up or clearing up to helping with the dog show or sports races. Sponsorship is also needed along with raffle prizes. The committee is also looking for someone with the appropriate licence to run an outside bar.

A dozen volunteers would help save the festival.

"In a town the size of Chatteris you would think that would not be a problem but it is," said Mrs Fieldhouse. "We are swimming against the tide all the time."

- Anyone who can offer help should contact Norman Lark on 01354 694375 or Jan Fieldhouse on 01354 695439.

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