Kimberley’s traditional pram race looks set to be cancelled and replaced with a ‘alcohol free’ fun day after the town council branded it a ‘street drinking event’.
The annual charity event which was held for the 34th time last year sees residents dressing up and pushing prams through the town, while stopping off at town pubs on the way.
At the latest meeting of Kimberley Town Council, chairman, Cllr Jim McDonald, said that in recent years police have become increasingly concerned about people getting drunk at the event.
He said: “We have decided we should have a family fun day instead. We will encourage people to come and bring their families. It will be an alcohol free event.
“This is something that’s been discussed for a long time. The pram race has become something it wasn’t originally.”
PC Paul Toon from Kimberley Police said the event had seen dwindling in numbers over the years and police could no longer back it in its current form. He said: “We have been working with the council and come up with plans for a family orientated day on local parks where no alcohol will be served. There will be no road closures so it won’t affect any traffic.”
PC Toon added that up to 100 prams used to take part in the what used to be a ‘massive community event’ when drinking was just a small part of it, adding that the emphasis had now gone on people congregating around pubs.
Darren Warner, chairman of Kimberley Residents Association, said the pram race has always centred around drinking because Kimberley is a brewery town and it’s part of our culture.
He added that it will be sad if the pram race comes to an end as it’s part of Kimberley’s identity: “In some ways it’s a reflection of the community not being as strong as it once was”, he said.
The town council will be discussing the future of the pram race at its events committee on May 16 and making recommendations to full council on May 25.
A statement from the council this week read: “In recent years the police have not been comfortable with the pram race format, Concerned that whilst the event is advertised as a family fun day, it has latterly manifested itself as a “ street drinking event” with the potential of public order hanging over it.
One reader commenting on the Advertiser website branded the proposed moved ‘pathetic’.