Dunchurch rocked by new blow to festival procession

A scene from last years Dunchurch procession which was a walking one for the first time.
A scene from last years Dunchurch procession which was a walking one for the first time.

The show will go on for this year’s Dunchurch fete and procession but organisers are bewildered by further changes forced upon them.

Last year a sudden rise in insurance saw them drop floats from the procession and when this year’s takes place next Saturday, June 17, it will not be to the route used without incident for the last 40 years.

The police have said no to closing the crossroads – though agreement has been reached for a closure to allow a walking procession to start from by the Dun Cow at 12.30pm, after forming up at St Peter’s Church.

The traditional route started at the junior school and was marshalled by volunteers. This year they were told they had to employ a traffic management company to marshal, bumping their costs up towards £2,000 – and when the company submitted the traditional route, it was rejected.

Festival group chair Rob Collings said: “We understand why this decision has been made, we have always tried to comply with all the stricter regulations that have been put our way but this is another that could be killing off a long-standing tradition going back decades, bringing joy to loads of people and raising thousands for the sake of the few not being able to wait for a short period of time.

“It was okay to shut all the roads for the Olympic torch and the Godiva Awakes procession that also came through Dunchurch, then why not something that has gone on for many, many years?

“It is unfortunate that we have to shorten the route by half as we will miss giving entertainment to half the village including sheltered housing. We will miss collecting along the way where we raised money to go to our local good causes. But we will not let it stop us – we will have the procession.”

The fete is from 12.30-5pm and will include: stalls, circus skills workshop, live music with Lawrence Sheriff Big Band, Dunchurch Band and other live acts. There will be fairground rides, alpacas, archery and more.

Admission is £2, 5-12 years 50p, while those in fancy dress and under 5s go in for free.

Traffic will be diverted along Northampton Lane, Cawston Lane and Adkinson Avenue for the shorter procession to take place.

The police did not respond to a request for a comment ahead of the paper going to press.