Mile Cross Festival saved

Kim BriscoeA popular city community festival, which has been facing an uncertain future, will be taking place this summer but organisers are still appealing for help.Kim Briscoe

A popular city community festival, which has been facing an uncertain future, will be taking place this summer but organisers are still appealing for help.

The group which runs the annual Mile Cross Festival says it costs more than �2,000 each year to run the event and which has become harder each year to raise.

However, following an appeal last summer, new members have joined the festival committee who have suggested ways to change the way the festival is run.

This year the festival is due to take place on Saturday, July 3, from midday to 5pm. In recent years it has been held in Peterson Road Park, but for 2010 it will be returning to its original home in the bigger Sloughbottom Park.

Kevin Wyer, secretary of Mile Cross Community Association, said they were hoping to return to the park with a bigger and better festival by inviting organisations and community groups from across Norwich to take part.

After the Mile Cross Community Association's appeal for sponsors was featured in the Evening News last year, Gordon Barber Funeral Directors, which has a base in nearby Aylsham Road, came forward to offer �500 and to arrange for its old-fashioned mechanical fairground organ to play music at the event.

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The vintage organ, which is mounted on the back of a lorry, has inspired another improvement to the festival so that it incorporates a classic car/bike show.

Mr Wyer said: 'We are currently sending out invites to known classic car owners but would like to hear from other classic car owners who would like to join us on the day.'

The association is looking for children's rides and attractions, but not inflatables or caterers, who are prepared to attend and give the association a percentage donation.

It also wants to hear from anyone who can provide arena attractions.

Mr Wyer said: 'We are also hoping that local businesses on Whiffler Road will help us out on the day with car parking, and we will be writing to ask them shortly and we will also be pushing the bus routes which stop outside the park as well.'

The association was also successful in obtaining a grant from the Evening News-backed Sports Relief Community Cash Fund.

Community groups which would like to take part in the day, for free, can download application forms from the front page of the association's website at

Classic car owners and clubs interested in taking part can also download a form from the website.

The Mile Cross Community Association can be contacted on 07880 846060.

Do you have a story about a community event? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email

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