WheelFest24 and 1940’s Ropergate Success

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On Saturday, Pontefract Civic Society staged WheelFest24, which was a spectacular success approaching 80 exhibiting vehicles, 20 outdoor displays, rides, and vendors, 22 indoor craft stalls, 20 craft and charity stalls around Market Place

16 costumed characters on parade led by our Town Crier, John Turner, and a full day of music hosted by Rhubarb Radio at the Buttercross, and on Ropergate hosted by Channel 4’s Clare Brooke, with support from Alex McHale at The Old Post Office, including a youth dance flash mob from DA Dance and jive demonstrations from Want2Jive. We were fortunate again to partner with KLH Craft Fair who’d moved to St Giles Church and they also managed all our additional vendor and charity bookings excluding vehicles.

Phil Cook, vice chair and event organiser said, “I am immensely proud of the team-effort and partner support that we achieved in pulling off our biggest community event to date. The businesses on Ropergate got into the 1940’s spirit dressing windows and in some case, themselves, the street displays from the Decoration Squad and the stage entertainment went down a storm”.

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The event was officially opened at 10am by the Cllr Darren Byford, Mayor of Wakefield Council, who toured the exhibits, stalls and craft fair accompanied by civic society chair, Paul Cartwright in the morning. Buttercross acts included the Liquorice Singers, Northern Music Academy, and popular local acts put together by Brad Jack and Little Bellows Events. Meanwhile, Ropergate entertainment included D Day Darling’s Jessica Poole, the Castleford branch of the George Formby Society, Altofts & Normanton Brass Band and Joseph O’Brien.

WheelFest24 VW Owners ClubWheelFest24 VW Owners Club
WheelFest24 VW Owners Club

Karen Haddock and Lynne Hartley, KLH Craft Fair, said, “We had a fantastic day with around 1000 visitors coming through the doors of St Giles Church, whom we thank on this occasion for accommodating us; that was 400 up on WheelFest23”.

Paul Cartwright, civic society chair said, “This was our most ambitious event to date, and in spite of early rain and the wind, the feedback for everyone has been really positive and encouraging. Some competitions on the day were Pontefract’s Mark Barnes’ 1977 Pontiac Firebird Transam won the best 4 wheel vehicle and above, and Knottingley’s Colin Ashmore’s Rewako RF1 2004 trike won the best three wheel vehicle and below, judged by Castleford Tigers players. Also, young Cameron Johnson won the best recycled model which was a school bus made from a drinks carton. Once again, we want to thank all our business sponsors.

WheelFest25 will take place on Saturday 14 Jun, 2025. Entries have not opened yet, and Pontefract Civic Society believe next year will be bigger and better.

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For further information on Pontefract Civic Society visit social media @PontefractCivic, or the website at www.pontefractcivicsociety.org.uk. New members are always welcome, and there’s Father’s Day gifts are available on the web, and at Armed Forces Day in Pontefract Park later this month.