Knaresborough Lions send thanks to all those who helped make the 54th Great Knaresborough Bed Race, staged on 8 June 2019, such a success. The group, the organisers since 1998 of the event, says it could not be done without the support of companies, community organisations and the many individuals who turn out on the day. Thanks, too, go to the team members, their supporters old and young, the marching bands and dance groups, and the hundreds of others who work behind the scenes to make the day possible.
Where to start? Without the support of the commercial sponsors - Piccadilly Motors, HACS, CNG, G H Brooks, Redcentric, Stephenson Control Systems, Taylors of Harrogate, CEG, Harrison Spinks, Flow-Mon, Clarity and Queen Ethelburga's the event simply would not happen. This year, it may have cost up to £30,000 to put Bed Race on and these companies ensure that sufficient funds are provided to underwrite the event.
Then there are the advertisers in the Programme, whose support enables the publication - for many a souvenir of the day - to be issued. Stray FM are very important as the media partners of Bed Race, able to commentate on events and Emcee the day. TIG designs and prints the Programme at a discount. Sira Studios films the event and makes the official video, and Andrew Hawkes Photography manages the website and takes still photos. The Knaresborough Post supports this, its very own World Cup, and we are helped, too, by the Harrogate Informer and Knaresborough Now.
The park-and-ride car parks are provided free by GSPK/Knaresborough Technology Park and ALM, while the Harrogate Bus Company operates the free shuttle bus between the car parks and the town. Our thanks, too, go to Arrow Self Drive for their supply of vehicles.
Hundreds of marshals turn out on the day to help keep the course clear and the Lions thank them all. Marshals from the teams are vital to maintain safety along with volunteers from other organisations - the Masons, Rotary and Round Table members, many stalwarts of other Lions clubs in North Yorkshire, Knaresborough Fire Station, Scotton Scorchers and teachers from St John Fisher's School.
The divers from Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association are vital for safety during the river crossing, never more so than this year because of the higher and faster moving waters of the Nidd.
An especially loud shout goes out the Air Training Cadets and scouts from 1st Knaresborough and 1st Scriven Scout troops, long our vital helpers. This year on Bed Race day, they were joined by the Guides, and volunteers from St John's Church and St Michael's Hospice who helped sell programmes.
There are countless other individuals without whose contribution life on Bed Race day would be much harder. They help with scrutineering, selling programmes and stewarding, catering, staffing the information point and helping keep the Lions as sane as is humanly possible.
We hope we haven't forgotten anyone. The police, too, and the councils from Knaresborough and Harrogate have played their parts.
It is a true community effort, done almost entirely by volunteers and competed in by people happy to give up their own time in a wonderful spirit: all for the good of the event, the benefit of the town and the raising of funds for charities and good causes.
Back next year? You bet!