Lions thank helpers at 54th Bed Race

Knaresborough Lions send heartfelt thanks to all those who helped make the 54th Great Knaresborough Bed Race, staged on 8 June 2019, such a success. The event couldn’t happen without a tremendous amount of support from companies, community organisations and the many individuals who turn out on the day. Thanks, too, go to the team members, their supporters old and young, the decorators of beds, the marching bands and dance groups, and the hundreds of others who work behind the scenes to make the day possible.

Where to start? Without the support of the commercial sponsors – which this year were Piccadilly Motors, HACS, CNG, G H Brooks, Redcentric, Stephenson Control Systems, Taylors of Harrogate, CEG, Harrison Spinks, Flow-Mon, Clarity and Queen Ethelburga’s – the event simply would not happen. The cost of putting on a Bed Race approaches £30,000 and these companies ensure that sufficient funds are provided to underwrite the event.

Then there are the advertisers in the programme, whose support enabled the publication of this great souvenir of the day. Stray FM again took up their key role as media partners of Bed Race, providing entertainment and event commentary. TIG designed and printed the programme at a discount. Sira Studios filmed the event and made the official video, while Andrew Hawkes Photography manages the Bed Race website and took still photos. The Knaresborough Post supported the event, its very own World Cup, and there was also help from the Harrogate Informer and Knaresborough Now.

The Park and Ride car parks were provided free by GSPK/Knaresborough Technology Park and ALM, while the Harrogate Bus Company operated the free shuttle bus between the car parks and the town. Thanks, too, go to Arrow Self Drive for their supply of vehicles.

Hundreds of marshals turned out on the day to help keep the course clear and the crowds safe, and the Lions are very grateful to them all. Marshals from the teams were, as always, a vital part of this, along with individual volunteers and volunteers from many organisations: other Lions clubs of Yorkshire, Masons, Rotary, Scotton Scorchers, St Michael’s Hospice, Time Together, Sunderland Foundation of Light, HCPT Pilgrimage Trust, Knaresborough Fire Station, and teachers from St John Fisher’s School.

The team of volunteers from RAYNET made a great contribution to event safety, and on the day they were positioned all around the course providing back-up radio communications.

Blenkhorn’s Boats helped as usual to set up the river crossing. The divers from Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association were vital for safety during the crossing, never more so than this year because of the unusually high and fast-moving waters of the Nidd.

An especially loud shout goes out the Air Training Cadets and the scouts from 1st Knaresborough and 1st Scriven troops, who have long been vital helpers. This year on Bed Race day, they were joined by the Guides, and volunteers from St John’s Church and St Michael’s Hospice who helped sell programmes.

SPARKs did a huge job of cleaning up after the event, and led a drive to recycle as much discarded material as possible.

There are countless other individuals without whose contribution life on Bed Race day would have been much harder. They helped with scrutineering, chaperoning children, selling programmes and stewarding, catering, staffing the information points and helping keep the Lions as sane as is humanly possible.

The police, and the councils of Knaresborough and Harrogate, played their parts in enabling the event to happen and making sure everyone could enjoy it safely.

It is a true community effort, with most of the work done by volunteers happy to give up their own time in a wonderful spirit: all for the good of the event, the benefit of the town and the raising of funds for charities and good causes.

Back next year? You bet!

[A version of this article was previously published at]