We had no choice but to cancel Kimberley Pram Race

Matt Keetley, Jim Logan, Lexi Wayman, Tyler Wayman were the team from Victoria street Kimberley.
Matt Keetley, Jim Logan, Lexi Wayman, Tyler Wayman were the team from Victoria street Kimberley.

We didn’t have time to organise the Kimberley Pram Race for the usual July date. Last year a pram race committee was set up to organise it.

When it was handed back to the Town Council there simply wasn’t enough time to have it in July. Nottinghamshire County Council requires 12-14 weeks’ notice to grant a road closure which would have been in the school holidays, which we decided would be an even worse time than September. Trouble was limited by the police presence, however each of the last three years I have volunteered to help there have been issues with underage drinking (mainly centered in the precinct).

Plus people who had given up a whole day to marshall the event were verbally abused and one woman received minor injuries. Because of this, volunteers were less willing to help out, leaving the organisation in the hands of only a couple of people.

Another knock-on effect meant that this year we would have to pay a private traffic management company to ‘man’ the road closures, which is relatively expensive. If we had stuck to the format of holding the event in the middle of Kimberley, we would have had to provide private security; 30 licensed staff for the five hours. Again, not cheap.

As the aim of the pram race is to raise funds for local causes, our auditor has not been happy for a number of years with the increasing costs passed onto us from other organisations. It meant we spent more than we actually raised for some time.

We made the decision to change the main focus of the day down to door one with discussions with the police, county council and traffic management, in a way that we believed would keep our costs down, while providing a fun and entertaining day out. Unfortunately, during the week before the event, a number of attractions that had been due to attend pulled out at the last minute. The Golden Guinea were still going to be there to provide the beer tent but the lack of variety of things to do, plus a very small response from entrants (Wilkinson, Your Move, the Scouts and Noah’s Ark play group being the only people we believe intended entering prams) we had to take the decision to cancel.

Because we only had a few people helping out in the organisation, I somehow, inexplicably as I work in one, managed to miss out the pubs when we were distributing application forms. I have no explanation for this other than we all thought someone else had done it and as we all went on holidays throughout the summer (pre booked prior to setting the date) non of us realised. I will add to that though that an application form was delivered to each house in Kimberley, it was advertised in both the Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser and the Nottingham Post, as well as mentioned during a drive time radio interview I did on BBC Radio Nottingham.

Our Facebook posts were seen by more than 4,000 people. We do not yet know what the future holds for the pram race, however the causes we had chosen to support this year will still receive donations once the committee has met to discuss this.

Cllr Mary McGuckin,

Kimberley Town Council