Old Dalby Day cancelled this year due to lack of organisers

Russ Hamer and some of the other Old Dalby Day organisers pictured last year during a successful appeal for extra help from volunteers - the event has had to be suspended this year due to a lack of help EMN-190803-120648001
Russ Hamer and some of the other Old Dalby Day organisers pictured last year during a successful appeal for extra help from volunteers - the event has had to be suspended this year due to a lack of help EMN-190803-120648001
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A long-running popular annual village event which attracts thousands of people and raises vital funds for community organisations has been cancelled this year because not enough people have come forward to help organise it.

There was a threat to last year’s Old Dalby Day, which is a regular destination for people across the Melton borough every August Bank Holiday, because of a shortage of volunteers and people on the committee.

It was saved when an emergency public meeting garnered extra supporters but a similar gathering at the end of last month was unable to attract any new help.

Event secretary Russ Hamer said it had been reluctantly decided to suspend Old Dalby Day, which has run for more than 30 years, because the request for help from the ‘depleted committee’ had sparked ‘very little response’.

He told the Melton Times: “With diminished numbers the committee was left with no choice but to suspend Old Dalby Day for a year.

“There simply is not sufficient personnel available.

“The organisers were painfully aware of the iconic nature of the event and that it annually raises a large amount of funding for local charities and groups. “The scouts, village hall, church, cricket club, school and several others have greatly benefited from the day for over 30 years and it was felt that the event should be reinstated as soon as possible.

“However several key duty roles, essential to the running of the event, were left unfilled.

“Although there is no time this year to fill these duties, hopefully residents will step forward so that the event can be reinstated for 2020.”

Plans are already in place to resurrect Old Dalby Day for next year with a public meeting organised on Monday April 29 at 7.30pm in the village hall.

New ideas are sought for the event and individuals to fill key roles such as a co-ordinator of market stalls, someone to select, book and organise entertainment, a car show manager, sponsorship co-ordinator, web site and social media supervisor, a person to liaise with road traffic management, an individual to organise volunteers and marshals and someone to work with police, the emergency services and first responders.

Russ added: “Most of this work is started by dedicated residents early in the year, not just shortly before August.

“Though some of these duties could be covered many could not this year.

“Our charity is also in need of a new treasurer.

“The committee thanks all who have worked so hard over the years to produce Old Dalby Day and hopes to gain new members for the future.

“There will be no Old Dalby Day this year but perhaps we’ll have a different, exciting event for 2020.”

Anyone interested in helping to organise an event next year is advised to make contact online at www.olddalbyday.old-dalby.org.uk via the Old Dalby day Facebook page by email olddalbyday@yahoo.com or they can attend next month’s public meeting.