Hessle Road pram race set to be cancelled in 2013
THE Hessle Road pram race is unlikely to go ahead next year, with the trust behind the event set to disband.
The traditional event was revived in 2009 to celebrate the 160th anniversary of Hessle Road.
It was first organised by Peter Nicholson in 1985.
The race continued for 17 years and Mr Nicholson helped form a new committee from community groups, so the race could return once again.
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But due to rising costs and other setbacks, the trust has decided to call it a day.
Organiser Tracey Henry said: "We have decided to take this action due to the lack of trustees through resignations and health, along with the lack of money going around in the community to cover the costs.
"The Pram Race Trust will close after the funds are dispersed.
"It's with a sad heart we have to do this but the event this year raised very little money for the community despite £9,000 from Arco for the sponsoring the event and £1,000 donation from Tesco.
"On the day we raised about £1,000 from the bucket collections and donations."
But Ms Henry has praised those who have helped run the event and believes the race could continue in the future.
She said: "We shouldn't forget the hundreds of hours of manpower from Hessle Road Network staff, community volunteers and many others who took part as contestants, without whom there would be no race.
"Shops and other community groups, such as the Hull Boys Club, made the day into a fabulous community event for all ages of the Hessle Road community.
"However, there is at least one community group interested in trying to keep the pram race side of this event alive and will be making enquiries into whether this is possible for future years."
Trust member and former organiser Kim Hepple is disappointed.
She said: "The trust was only supposed to organise it for a couple of years and then the community was going to take it over.
"But no one has really come forward and those on the trust are very busy people.
"It may be that we will carry on the carnival but the cost of holding the race, with road closures and setting up barriers and electrics, is just too great.
"It has been a brilliant event but we need more support from traders and the community.
"I am really proud of what the trust has achieved and it's a shame if it ends."
Donna Finn, chairman of the Hessle Road Traders' Association, is keen to keep the pram race going.
She said: "It's disappointing to hear this news.
"We need a really strong traders' association to bring more businesses on board.
"With more trader involvement, I think the event could be better still.
"We don't want to lose traditions like this. It keeps the fishing heritage alive.
"Maybe we should get fishermen's families involved.
"I will look to speak to traders in the new year to see what can be done."
Ward councillor Nadine Fudge has also promised to see what she and her colleagues can do.
She said: "The cost of holding it has become too great, which is a big shame.
"A lot of people look forward to the day and I thought it was getting bigger.
"But I will get together with my colleagues and look into what can be done."
There will be a round of funding to go out to the community early next year from money raised from the pram race.
Groups from the Hessle Road area can apply for funding of up to £300, while £6,000 will go to Hessle Road Network for a project called Game On.