£5k Ottery Tar Barrels joy

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 November 2010

FUTURE HOPE: Generous supporters want tradition to keep on rolling

FUTURE HOPE: Generous supporters want tradition to keep on rolling

Archant

WILL Ottery’s famous Tar Barrels tradition keep on rolling? Thousands of generous supporters flaming hope so!

COLLECTION JOY: Barrelers like these were out collecting cash on November 5.

WILL Ottery’s famous Tar Barrels tradition keep on rolling? Thousands of generous supporters flaming hope so!

“Overwhelmed” organisers behind the November 5 spectacular issued a heartfelt thank-you to kind residents and visitors who donated a massive £5,600 last Friday.

The vital cash is needed to secure the 200-year-old tradition’s future as Ottery’s Carnival Committee battles spiralling insurance costs.

“Public opinion counts, and for people to put that amount of money in, someone out there wants to keep this going,” said committee chairman Graham Rowland.

“I was overwhelmed by the response of the appeal we set up, and want to say thank-you on behalf of myself and the committee,” he added.

Barrel rollers and committee members were out with collecting tins throughout the fun.

The Herald revealed last month how event bosses managed to slice £8,000 off the insurance premium for this year’s event meaning preparations and fundraising for 2011 can start with a clean slate.

The culprit who caused an explosion in 2009 by lobbing an aerosol into a barrel had left organisers facing an “impossible” £25,000 premium thanks to a single compensation claim linked to the blast.

As attentions turn to next year, the insurance costs are not yet known, but further fundraising will be crucial, said Mr Rowland.

“As a committee we’re never negative- we can’t afford to be with what’s at stake,” he added, “I’ve rolled the barrels, so have my wife, my son, and my daughter. I’ve got a six-month old grandson now, so I’ve got another incentive to keep this going.”

Mr Rowland added the tradition, and others like it across the UK, need the Government to end Britain’s compensation culture if it is to survive for years to come.

He hopes Tory peer Lord Young’s health and safety review recommendations in his ‘Common Sense Common Safety’ report will come to fruition.

- FOUR pages of pictures on pages 25-28.


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