Sunday, 22 October 2017

Christmas torchlight procession faces axe

THE torchlit procession through Goring on Christmas Eve could be axed unless organisers have more help

THE torchlit procession through Goring on Christmas Eve could be axed unless organisers have more help running it.

Each year, hundreds of people with blazing torches take part in the march from Goring high street to Streatley Meadows, where a bonfire and carol service take place.

A temporary road closure is put in place along High Street and on the bridge between the villages.

The parade was first held more than 25 years ago and now gets so busy that the Morrell Room management committee, which organises it, fears there is a health and safety hazard.

Members are considering either scrapping it or holding a smaller celebration in Streatley without the parade beforehand.



However, the procession could continue if more people gave up their time to marshal participants. A professional event organiser is also needed to ensure it meets all safety requirements.

A committee spokesman said: “Last year the event was covered in national newspapers and it seems likely that its popularity will grow  exponentially.

“This will inevitably bring with it accompanying problems, with so many children holding lit torches walking down roads crowded with people and parked cars.

“There are issues of stewardship on an evening when, understandably, so few volunteers are prepared to be parted from their family and friends.

“We would warmly welcome any thoughts or ideas about the future of the procession as we would very much like such a successful evening to continue in some shape or form.“

Volunteers would need to give up two or three hours on the night. Anyone who can help should send an email to morrellroom@streatley.org



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