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Fayre called off as support dwindles

PUBLISHED: 11:45 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 01 August 2010

A LACK of support has led to the cancellation of a key Beccles event less than two weeks before it was due to take place.

Beccles Lions have been running the town's annual Fayre in the Square for six years, after taking over from Save the Children.

A LACK of support has led to the cancellation of a key Beccles event less than two weeks before it was due to take place.

Beccles Lions have been running the town's annual Fayre in the Square for six years, after taking over from Save the Children.

This year's event was supposed to take place on Sunday, June 6, however, the Lions have had to cancel due to a lack of stall holders and volunteers.

Ivan Holmes, secretary of Beccles Lions, expressed his disappointment and said he felt the cancellation was a sign of the times.

He said that organising the event got harder every year. “The stalls aren't coming in as we would like,” he explained. “We couldn't leave it until any later. I think it's a general trend. I go to a lot of events and I think the stall numbers have been lower everywhere I've been. Stall holders don't seem to be committed to pay in advance and take a chance on the weather and we had a very wet year last year.”

He said that in recent years people had been less willing to help with the event.

“People don't seem to want to volunteer to do things, they don't seem to want to put themselves out,” he said. “I work with the Rotary Club and the Round Table and it's the same, every club is suffering from a lack of volunteers.”

The Lions came to the difficult decision at its club meeting on Tuesday. Mr Holmes said that the fayre was not the Lions' biggest fundraiser of the year, but that the cancellation would take its toll on the charity's books.

“We're very disappointed,” he said. “We like to be there in the town and we like to give the people of Beccles something to come to.”

He said that he would be informing the stall holders of the cancellation and returning the pre-payments for pitches.

Beccles' Fayre in the Square last faced a crisis in 2004, the year the Lions first agreed to take over the event after Save the Children decided they could no longer manage it.

The Lions were forced to cancel the fayre due to financial problems, only to be saved at the eleventh hour by the Beccles and District Volunteer Centre which rallied help from stall holders, entertainers and volunteers.

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