Xmas lights threat for Harrogate suburb

Better times - Families enjoying a past successful Starbeck Gala.
Better times - Families enjoying a past successful Starbeck Gala.

The struggles of a long-standing community gala in Harrogate may have a knock-on effect on the festive season.

With the few remaining members of Starbeck Gals Committee saying they can't carry on without more help, the likely effect is there will be no Christmas lights on Starbeck High Street this year.
Funds raised at the annual gala usually towards the festive lights.
Gala stalwart Terry Edmonson had hoped last week’s Starbeck Gala meeting at St Andrew’s Church, would help revive the event - and attract new faces to fill vital positions such as treasurer and secretary.
But the response was so poor that he is now contemplating whether it is possible to carry on.
But he is holding one more meeting next week in the hope the public will rally to the cause and rescue the situation.
Terry said: "Only five people turned up so I am going to try another holding another meeting on Tuesday, October 3 at the church.
"But if we do not get any more members, it ooks like the committee will fold and that will be the end of both the gala and Christmas lights."
Held for many years in a central location at Belmont Field, scene of last week’s completely unrelated fun fair, the gala’s final location in 2016 before the current hiatus was at Harrogate Railway Athletic FC’s ground.
The event had failed to take place for two years but then returned in 2015.
But the sheer amount of hard work for the dwindling committee eventually took its toll.
What seemed like the final straw came earlier this year when the gala’s treasurer and interim secretary stood down after years of service.
Terry said:.“We have a small amount left for this year to pay for the hire of the Christmas lights for Starbeck, which people enjoy, but very little for the erection of them.
“I’m happy to put them up myself with Brian Busby but we still have to pay for insurance for the period when the lights are up.”
Some people may say the stalwarts of Starbeck Gala have a hard task on their hands reviving it.
Other may say this is a classic case of everyone wanting it but nobody being willing to help.
But when the event was cancelled back in 2007, for the first time in its then 50 year history, it turned out not to be the end of the story afterall.