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Parade & Gala - Chairman's Foreword

Front covers of the Parade & Gala Programmes 1954, 1955, 1956 & 1958

Throughout the 50's the annual Burton Latimer Charities Fund Parade & Gala brought the town together. A programme was published outlining events for the day and other information. This gave the opportunity for the current chairman of the Charities Committee to thank the public for their support and also report on last years event.

In 1954, Mr L. Patrick produced a short foreword reporting that the 1953 event had raised £210. This was distributed to St John Ambulance Brigade and Nursing Division, the T.B. After Care Committee, the United Clubs' Blind and the British Legion (Men's & Women's Sections).

In 1955 Mr Patrick commented on the bad weather of the previous years carnival, and although the amount raised was only £150. He commented that; "This was a very satisfactory sum and one which reflected great credit upon the officers and members of our organisation and upon all those who supported us in the face of many odds."

For the 1956 programme, Mr Patrick gave some information about the organisations that were to benefit from that years gala. These were; The T.B After Care Committee, this organisation helps to rehabilitate those people who have been suffering from tuberculosis. This can be organising visits whilst the pateint is in hospital or supplying some food or special grants when the patient returns home. The British Legion, when the need is genuine, the Burton Latimer Branch helps members with grocery grants and rent payments. The St John Ambulance Brigade, mention was made of the new motor ambulance that the Burton Latimer Brigade had recently purchased from donations including those from the Charities Committee. The Clubs Committee for the Blind, it was noted that 16 blind persons had received grants in Burton Latimer over the previous year.

By 1958 the committee chairman was Mr A.H. Caffrey, and he discussed the predicament of the Charities Committee in some detail. He commented on press reports that the committee was in danger of disbanding and admitted that this was the case, but this was due to mainly to a wave of resignations at the last annual meeting. These included the Chairman (Mrs K. Burrows), General Secretary (Mr G. Langford) and several key secretaries. Mr Caffrey went on to praise the work of the (now smaller) committee and in particular Mr A. Morby, thanking them for their loyal support during a difficult time.

The chairman then went on to reiterate the role of the Gala Day, commenting that most people now take the event for granted, having lost sight of its purpose and the hard work that goes into it. He emphasised that the charity fund was the publics fund and was there to help those who were infirm, aged or had fallen on hard times. The fund also assists local voluntary organisations that work for the benefit of the town. Mr Caffrey pointed out that in the last year, larger grants had been issued than in previous years, and it would be very sad if the committee could not continue this work due to insufficient volunteers.

He made mention of the numerous requests to do more for the towns elderly, and mentioned that the committee had become more mindful of the plight of many of the Old Age pensioners resident in Burton. As a consequence, the grant to the Old People's Welfare Committee was increased by £15, the Carnival Queen made visits to both St Mary's Hospital, Kettering and The Park Hospital, Wellingborough and half the amount paid out at Christmas from the "Helping Hand" Fund went to old people.

Mr Caffrey also appealed for volunterrs to boost the committee, particularly from the younger generation. Evidence of their enterprise was the the result of the 1957 Carnival Queen Contest, when the six competing ladies raised £278 in six weeks. He also mentioned some criticism for the way the Carnival Queen was selected last year, but felt vindicated by the money raised by the girls which ofset a potential shortfall due to poor weather and a bus strike. The chairman ended his foreward by mentioning some new items on the gala programme (a baby show & pony gymkhana) and thanking everyone for their hard work.

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