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Record crowds at Cononley Gala
Updated 8:05am Friday 27th June 2014 in News
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 gave their support."