Fleetwood art festival relauched

Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival. The Choir competition at Mount Methodist Church- Thornton Primary.

Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival. The Choir competition at Mount Methodist Church- Thornton Primary.

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A long-running Fleetwood arts festival has undergone some big changes – but it is still in business!

That’s the message from the Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival, now in its 62nd year, after fears in the town the festival had folded.

One major change is there is now a new committee, after the previous members decided to step down after lengthy and loyal service.

Another difference is that this year the festival will be a one-day only event, instead of taking place over several days.

The festival, which features classes for instrumental, vocal and drama performers, takes place on November 16. Entries to take part in the event must be in by September 30.

David Williams, festival spokesman, said: “There are some people in the town who think the festival is not happening this year.

“That isn’t the case, we are ploughing ahead as usual. We have lost some of our stalwart members, for various reasons, and I want to thank them for their efforts.

“Happily, we have some new and very capable people who have kindly stepped in from the wings and are keen to keep the festival going. Our festival is one of the longest-running events of its kind in the country and still has a lot to offer.”

Committee members who have stepped down include chairman Denis Watson, who was involved in the event for 31 years, and vocal and instrumental secretaries, John and Joyce Nutter respectively.

Long-serving secretary Diana Stenson, minutes secretary Joanne Cass, trophy secretary Judith Halloran and assistant Sue Clarke also decided to retire from the event.

One new committee member is former Fleetwood woman Hayley Blundell, 29, who now lives in Bispham.

Hayley has taken up the new acting secretary post until the AGM in January next year, and joined the committee with her mum, Lesley Moss.

Hayley said: “I used to perform in the speech and drama classes when I was very young and taking part did so much for my confidence.

“When I came back to this area after being at college, I decided to join the committee because I wanted to help keep it going so that other people could benefit. We are still looking for new members to join and I think they would find it very rewarding.”

David added: “Apart from new committee members, we are always looking for volunteer stewards or people who can help out with refreshments. And of course, we are still looking for as many people as possible to enter the festival. Many festivals across the country are declining because of a lack of entrants, and it would be a pity if the same happened to ours, after all this time.”

The acting committee are also looking for potential sponsors who could support ambitions to run workshops in local schools. Anyone who wants to join, sponsor or enter can find more details, including the 2013 syllabus, at www.fleetwoodfestival.co.uk.