THOUSANDS of spectators lined the procession route and enjoyed some pleasant sunshine for what organisers have hailed as the most successful Skipton Gala in recent years.

A long line of colourful floats took about 80 minutes to parade through the town centre, starting at Westmoreland Street, along the High Street and Water Street to the gala field in Aireville Park

There were loud cheers for Gala Rosebud Queen, 10-year-old Greatwood Primary School pupil Olivia Bacon, and her attendants.

Entertainment on the gala field included the first appearance of the Skipton Majorettes,the Mellin family with their animals and the Skipton Brass Band.

There was also testing trial of strength in the tug-of-war, while children enjoyed the funfair.

Gala organising committee chairman Geoff Dunn said members had been "hugely pleased" that the day had been such a success.

He said: "It was a really good procession with a lot of people all along the route. It wasn't as sunny as last year but it was still a beautiful day, and it was great to see so many people thoroughly enjoying themselves.

"Proceeds are still being counted. but we are confident there will be a real boost for all our charities."

The gala also helped to boost the cash drive for an operation to help little Connor Wrighton to see.

His parents Lisa and Nathan Wrighton were in the procession with family and friends and had an information stall at on the gala field.

They are trying to raise £13,000 for stem cell therapy at a clinic overseas for seven-month old Connor, who is blind following medical problems after his birth. Successful treatment could give him some vision.

Nathan said: "The response was fantastic. We just wanted to raise awareness of the appeal and sell tickets for the fundraising event at the Rendezvous Hotel on August 22. But people were coming up to us and giving us cash. People have been just great. We'd like to thank everyone who has contributed and the gala committee for being so fantastically helpful."

The gala results were as follows: Children's Fancy Dress:1st - Dylam - England Supporter; 2nd - Thomas Spurgeon - Transformer. School Decorated Float:;1st - Ings Community Primary School; 2nd - Brougham Street Nursery. Gala Queen and Retinue: 1st - Cowling Gala Queen; 2nd - Silsden Gala Queen. Best Organisational Float: 1st - Greatwood Community Centre - World War I;

2nd - Skipton Music Theatre - Oliver. Best Musical Float: 1st - Sweet Pea Music; 2nd - You Had Me At Hello.Tug of War: 1st - Upper Wharfedale Young Farmers; 2nd - Darius Team; 3rd - Skipton Volunteers, featuring Philip Mellin.

Pictures: Jeremy Knowles