Buckden Village Gala on Saturday was held in ideal conditions. The weather was warm and sunny and not too windy. A good crowd attended the annual event which was as always accompanied by the local sheep show and fell race. This year, the music was provided on the field by Marie-Claire Berreen and Her Husbands a folk band from the Midlands who recently performed at the Kettlewell Mayfest and performed again on the evening of the Gala at the Buck Inn. Another unusual attraction was the visit of a pygmy goat and three donkeys from the Hart Animal Sanctuary at Hawkswick . The children’s races, organised by Sarah Vetch, attracted a good number of runners with Amy, Rebecca, Isobel, Lucy, Olivia, Sophie and Madeleine all winning races. The fun dog show expertly and independently judged by Mr William Hanbury of York was popular and attracted well over twenty entries. Prizes for dog most like its owner went to Lou Way (and Bernard), for dog trick to Basil, bark on command to Jess and best looking dog to Lottie. Best dog in show was Beau. For the second year running, John and Louise Close provided a gun dog scurry demonstration and allowed local amateur dogs to have a go alongside the experts. A celebrity in the gun dog world, Josh Siddons, was in attendance with his dog Molly. Josh, aged only 15, is the BASC Champion and was a finalist in the World competition.
Hot dogs on the field and teas in the nearby Church Schoolroom as well as Roger Ingham’s ice-creams and a beer tent all went down well and Roger’s commentary in his own inimitable style added to the enjoyment evidently shared by all.
Richard Barlow, chairman of the committee, told the Herald that everyone who came to the Gala owed thanks to all who helped to make it happen and in particular to Debbie Roe the Gala Secretary who did the bulk of the organising throughout the year that made for a successful day. As before Bev Owen did a great job organising the setting up of the field. Julie Jones was in charge of the tea room and as usual provided first class food for the more discerning customers. Richard added that the Gala as well as providing very useful funds for the Hall is an occasion that brings the community together and that the Hall committee has every intention of continuing to hold the event on the third Saturday in June in future years as it has been customary to do for as long as anyone can remember.
RECORD crowds turned out for Cononley Gala.
Delighted organisers say support from villagers at Saturday's event was phenomenal.
"It was a really great day – we've never had so many people on the playing fields," said parish council chairman, Lois Brown.
"The Blades aerobatic display team was a big draw, we had a massive crowd for that, and I understand it was quite an attraction right up the valley as it flew over!
"There was a real buzz all afternoon and one thing that was noticeable this year was that people were staying right beyond 5pm, by which time many have often been drifting away in the past.
"Of course the weather helped, it was glorious."
The event began as usual with a procession around the village, with many youngsters taking part on bikes to tie in with the gala's Tour de France theme.
Special guests were Jane and Neil Savoury, wife and brother of the former New Inn pub landlord Ian Savoury who died last year. They judged the fancy dress and best-dressed-wheels competitions.
The procession was followed by the crowning of the gala queen, Ysabel Akroyd, who was attended by Sebastienna Bairstow, Anya Dickinson and Eloise Carter, all pupils at Cononley Primary School.
A packed programme of activities on the fields included a hugely popular dog show, country dancing from village school pupils, children's races and stalls.
Cononley Singers performed on the bandstand, and refreshments were served.
And a tug of war competition between teams from the two village pubs, the New Inn and The Railway, was held in memory of Ian Savoury .
Events continued in the evening, with a disco, hog roast and bar in the marquee. Live music was provided by the Rhythm Junkies.
"The evening do was fantastically supported – with about 170 people there – and it was the perfect end to a great day," said Mrs Brown.
"We're still counting up the overall proceeds from the day, but the evening event alone took nearly £1,800.
"All the money raised goes into the upkeep of the playing fields.
"We'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with the gala and all those who