COMMUNITY-spirited volunteers are being urged to step forward to safeguard the future of the annual Hawkshaw Gala.

A meeting is being held at the village’s Waggon and Horses pub in Bolton Road next Tuesday to recruit “new blood” to the event’s organising committee.

Hopes are high that the future of the popular three-day gala, which has been the highlight of the village’s calendar for 35 years, can be maintained in 2013 and in future years.

Miss Nicky Leeth, a co-organiser of next week’s meeting, said: “Hawkshaw has had a gala over a June or July weekend on the village recreation ground since 1977. It has been run over recent years with the dedication of a few enthusiastic volunteers.

“The committee, as it stands, became defunct after a very successful Diamond Jubilee Gala.

“The decision that the Jubilee Gala would be the last that the current committee organised was discussed calmly and minuted in February 2012.

“The fact is, without any more input from the village and beyond, in the form of folk putting themselves forward for volunteering to make the load a little lighter for the 12 committee members, then we could not continue.

“The village is now at risk of losing this fantastic community event. We put the details of help wanted last year in all the flyers we distributed and it was in the last gala review, saying that someone else will need to pick up the baton. Upwards of 4,000 people visit the gala.”

Miss Leeth said the meeting had been organised by herself, as an old committee member, and a couple of members of the village churches after one or two villagers expressed an interest in the gala continuing and getting involved.

She added: “ Our aim is to try to get people involved to try and pass on the baton with support.

“Hawkshaw folk will always offer to help out if asked, but we need people to volunteer.”

The meeting starts at 7.30pm.