Annual street fair is in danger of folding

Rothbury Street Fair 2015
Picture by Jane Coltman
Rothbury Street Fair 2015 Picture by Jane Coltman

An urgent appeal has been made to find a new team to take over the running of a popular village event which is in danger of folding.

The future of the annual Rothbury Street Fair is in doubt after long-time organisers, Coquetdale Round Table, announced that it no longer has the resources to stage the event.

Managing the fair has become a ‘daunting challenge’ for Round Table volunteers, due to dwindling member numbers and an over-reliance on retired members.

The Tablers have agreed that it is time to hand over the organisation of the event – which takes place on Spring Bank Holiday Monday – to another party.

Now, a search has begun to find a new committee to save the fair from folding altogether.

Coquetdale Round Table chairman Steven Buckley said: “Managing the fair has become a daunting challenge for such a small number of people with jobs and young families.

“It takes a significant amount of organising and manpower on the day itself, and sadly, we no longer have the members or contacts to make the event as good as it could be.

“We have the stalls and trailers which can be collected for someone to store somewhere and we can offer to help during any transition period. We can also offer some manpower for the day, but can’t guarantee how many members could attend.

“Many of the local businesses tell us that the street fair is one of their busiest trading days; it has raised a great deal of money for various local charities, and were it not to take place, I’m sure the fair would be missed by everyone in Rothbury and the surrounding area.

“To give the incoming party a fair chance of making a success of the fair, we would really need to get the running of the fair handed over as soon as possible.”

Mr Buckley has emailed Rothbury councillor Steven Bridgett to see if he can drum up any interest.

Coun Bridgett will see how he can assist in facilitating a transition of the management of the fair from the Table to new organisers, if such an appetite exists.

He also said that he will meet county-council officers to see if any help can be given towards the workforce and resources.

Coun Bridgett added: “There is a possibility that last year’s street fair could have been the last. I am putting a call out to Coquetdale residents and businesses for assistance in helping this much-valued community event to continue into the future.

“I am looking for people/business owners who are prepared to put in the work to not only allow our street fair to continue, but help it expand and perhaps take in some of the forgotten past times of the street fair and carnivals.”

Email Steven.Bridgett@northumberland.gov.uk to help.