No Hawes Gala in 2018 due to lack of community support

A pipe band leads the traditional gala parade in the Main Street. Picture by Kevin Johnson.

By Betsy Everett

Despite the best efforts of its hard-working committee, the Hawes and district gala will not take place next year and may be forced to end altogether.

“It’s such a shame that the gala won’t go ahead in 2018 for the first time in 50 years but without more support it just isn’t possible,” said  co-secretary, Emily Pickard, following a crisis meeting in the town on Sunday night.

Emily confirmed that only five members of the public turned up, and with some current members of the committee unable to continue, there were not enough volunteers.
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A statement issued after the meeting, said: “The current committee will continue for the sole purpose of holding the extraordinary meeting in January to see if a gala can be held in 2019.”

Emily, a mother of two who also works full-time, said the gala had become increasingly popular over the years: it was not ending through lack of support from visitors, but from volunteers from the community.

“We have tried our best as we didn’t want this traditional gala to end. Last year was the 50th anniversary and we worked especially hard, but without more help we knew we couldn’t go on,” said Emily.

It served not just Hawes, but the whole of Upper Wensleydale and people would travel from far and wide to take part in the fancy dress parade and the traditional games on the community field.

Current committee members, with Emily, are Charlotte Handley, Emma Guy, Fiona Magill, Georgia Edmead, Jenny Guy, Louise Raw, Rosie Dinsdale, Shirelle Calvert, and Vicky Thompson.

The extraordinary meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, January 23, at The Fountain Hotel in Hawes. Contact Emily Pickard on 07868568993 if you would like to volunteer.

Stunt motorcyclists were a highlight of last year’s 50 anniversary parade. Picture by Kevin Johnson.


  1. Bit unfair to blame lack of community support. As pretty much every person in the community over the age of 30 has at some point been in the committee or been a volunteer!

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