Hawes gala back on track for a fun-packed day in July

The new Hawes gala committee, left to right, Allison Wade, Diane Dinsdale, Cayla Kern, Lewis Pannell, Joyce Sunter and Amy Cockett

By Betsy Everett

The annual Hawes gala, which almost folded through lack of volunteers, has been pulled from the brink in its 51st year.

Planning for the following year’s event normally begins in June or July, as soon as the gala ends, but this year the new committee, convened in January, had only six months to get things moving.

“It means we won’t be able to do the street procession because that takes so much time and planning, but there will still be lots of fun activities for everyone,” said Amy Cockett who chairs the new Hawes and District Gala committee.
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The gala will take place on Saturday, July 14, in the Hawes community field, from 2-6pm, when the disco will begin, and there will be many familiar attractions and activities, including the traditional fancy dress parade, this year with the theme of Life in the Dales. 

Dogs will be welcome, says Amy, and there will even be a dog show to add to the fun, which includes the Jack and Jill slide, wet sponge throwing, face painting and glitter tattoos among many other events.

“I really must say a massive ‘thank you’ to all the previous committee members, for all the work they have done keeping the gala going over the years. They have worked so hard, and now we’re just delighted that we are able to see it continue into its 51st year,” she added.

Diane Dinsdale, one of the new committee members, says she joined because she did not want to see the gala end after more than 50 years.

“I think we all felt that if it didn’t happen this year it might never happen again. Once you lose something like this you never get it back and that would be such a shame.”

MC Allison Wade said the gala had always enjoyed support from the local business community and this year would be no exception.

“We felt we just had to do something and called on the community to help,” she said.

Retired businessman, Lewis Pannell, who recently came to live permanently in the town where he had holidayed so often, joined the committee as treasurer, and Cayla Kern is honorary secretary.

Among the local businesses running stands and stalls will be the national park authority, the Youth Hostel Association, Dales Kennels, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Young Farmers, Church About the Dale, On the Hoof, The Old Sweet Shop, and Wensleydale Inflatables,. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided by Hawes Junior Football Club and Charlie and Rachel Guy will run the bar.

Low Mill outdoor centre in Askrigg will run a shuttle bus to Appersett viaduct for abseiling and local artist with a national reputation, Stacey Moore, will judge the art competition.

Apart from taking on the gala Amy, who recently returned to work after the birth of her now three-month-old baby, is once again directing the Wensleydale Music and Theatre Group’s Christmas pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, for which rehearsals will soon be underway.

Anyone who wants to help or get more details, email Gala@outlook.com, or phone Amy on 01969 666140