Horncastle’s Festivals Committee: ‘Don’t just criticise - have a go!’

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A leading member of Horncastle’s Festivals Committee has appealed for new members with this message: “Don’t just criticise – come and have a go!”

The committee organises two of the town’s showpiece events – the Summer and Christmas Markets.

‘Everything we do is for the good of Horncastle. Hopefully, there are people who want to help’

However, three stalwart committee members – Fiona Martin, Sandra Campbell-Wardman and Stefan Urbanowicz – recently stepped down.

Lucy Roberts – a key figure in the success of last year’s Christmas market – has been forced to curtail her involvement because of health reasons.

Now, committee member Brian Burbidge has urged volunteers to come forward and warned without ‘new blood’ the committee could have to fold.

Speaking ahead of the committee’s annual meeting later this month, Mr Burbidge said: “We have largely relied on the same half-a-dozen or so volunteers for too long.

“In fact, you see the same faces at a good many organisations in the town.

“The loss of Fiona, Sandra and Stefan is a blow but no-one can fault the work they put in to ensure the markets keep going.

“But now we need new blood – new ideas. We need new people to come forward.

“Without them, it is going to be difficult to keep going.”

The Christmas Market was hailed as a success last year after it attracted bumper crowds.

However, the Summer Market wasn’t held in 2016 after criticism from some residents and local business owners the previous year when poor weather led to a near wash-out - and a hefty loss.

Mr Burbidge, who is also a town councillor, said: “It is easy to criticise but my message to anyone interested in joining the committee and promoting the town is come and have a go.

“Everything we do is for the good of Horncastle. Hopefully, there are people who want to help.”

Mr Burbidge admitted it was unlikely the Summer Market will be resurrected this year but stressed the committee had ‘an open mind’ about what events could be planned.

He indicated the Christmas Market would still go ahead, but only if new committee members come forward.

He added: “I think I can speak for all the committee members when I say we all want to carry on but we do need help.”

l The annual meeting will be held at Stanhope Hall on February 20 at 7pm.