A COMMUNITY event could be salvaged from the ashes of Old Leigh Regatta after Leigh Lions Club stepped in.
The regatta, a charity event held to raise funds for the Leigh Scout community, was set to take place in September for the 41st time, but a lack of volunteers led to it being cancelled last week.
Leigh Lions Club had been working with the regatta organisers to help with entertainment and has now stepped in to salvage a one-day event.
Originally scheduled for the weekend of September 13 and 14, hopes remain high the Lions Club can still put on an event on the Sunday.
Tony Prior, activities chairman for Leigh Lions Club, said: “The regatta organiserswere the first people we spoke to when we heard the news it had been cancelled – we were quite surprised.
“We had already been liaising with them for several months to help with entertainment and a barbecue for the event.
“We are committed to the weekend and we want to create a new event on the Sunday.
“We are liaising with the Scouts, the Peter Boat pub are still committed to an event and the sailing club will still be running its races, so we are positive about our prospects.” With little more than six weeks left until the scheduled event, Mr Prior needs final sign-off from the Lions Club and will be meeting with members this week to discuss plans.
Leigh Town Council chairman RichardHerbert said last week it would also talk to organisers to put on an event of some kind on the Sunday.
Nick Turner, area manager for the East Anglia Pub Company, owners of the Peter Boat, said it was still keen to be involved in a community event.
Mr Turner said: “When we first heard about the regatta, I immediately said we would help in any shape or form.
“We will get something organised and back on. The regatta has been going for years and is an important part of the community.”
Barry Withers, chairman of Southend West District Scout Council, said: “We are extremely saddened to be cancelling 2014’s regatta. We hope the regatta can return in 2015.”
Organisers are appealing for volunteers to join the 2015 committee and to email oldleigh firstname.lastname@example.org