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Harold Hill Festival cancelled due to lack of volunteers

Harold Hill Festival. Picture: Mark Sepple. Harold Hill Festival. Picture: Mark Sepple.

Friday, March 21, 2014
9:00 AM

A popular summer festival has been cancelled by organisers who “can’t get it off the ground” - though the council still hopes to save it.

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The annual Harold Hill Festival, which was due to take place in July, is run entirely by volunteers and the chair of the committee confirmed to the Recorder yesterday (Wed) that due to a lack of “man power,” it will not be going ahead.

Julie Pocock, chair for three festivals, said previous volunteers had been approached, but many of them had found employment thanks to their involvement and could not spare the time.

“We tried to organise it, but we can’t get bodies on the ground,” said Julie.

“Lot’s of people have gone on to great things through their work with the festival. It’s just physically impossible this year.”

The festival, which last year featured local musicians, stalls, donkey rides and a classic car exhibition, will return next year with new committee members.

Julie said: “Whoever picks up the reins next year will be able to do it justice.”

The festival had gone from strength to strength in the last few years, with numbers rising from 1,500 in 2011 to 6,000 in 2013.

“It’s been a great success, we had about 100 stalls there last year,” added Julie.

Though this year’s festival seems doomed, the council is now looking at how it can “support a new team.”

Cllr Steven Kelly, council leader, said: “Last year’s event was a wonderful day because of all our fantastic volunteers who stepped in and worked so hard to organise and run it.

“Although we will miss the experience and dedication that came with our previous committee members, we would like the festival to continue.”

Were you planning to go to the festival? Did you go last year? Send your thoughts to sam.gelder@archant.co.uk or call 020 8477 3810.

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