ORGANISERS of an annual Bank holiday parade which this year marks its 127th outing are urging the public to support the event despite a new ban on people standing on floats.

Richmond Meet Parade will be at 10am on Bank Holiday Monday.

Richmond Meet committee member Fiona Hadden urged the public to support the event.

She said: "This is the first year we have had to stop people from riding on the floats and we understand people are disappointed about it.

"We do want to get the word out that the parade is still going ahead – the more people that attend and take part then the more chance we have of being able to allow people back on the floats in the future."

Other events which have fallen victim to health and safety around parade floats include Newton Aycliffe's Santa Tour – although the event was able to go ahead after public outcry.

The Newton Aycliffe event, on Christmas Eve, was set to be changed amid concerns it was illegal and insurance would be void in the event of an accident.

However, Chief Constable of Durham Police, Mike Barton, used his discretion to confirm Great Aycliffe Town Council would not face prosecution over the event if Santa travelled at walking pace on the back of the sleigh.

Barnard Castle Meet, which takes place at 1pm on Bank Holiday Monday also encourages more 'walking floats' – but does not ban people from riding on motorised floats.

Lesley Taylor from Barnard Castle Meet said: "We allow people on the floats but they must be sat down. We also take out extra insurance per float on top of our public liability insurance."

Mrs Hadden said: "As the Meet has evolved we have had more regular contributors who are no longer able to submit the float of their choice because their insurance company will not insure them if people are standing on the back of a moving vehicle."

Richmond Meet raises cash for local causes and charities.

Mrs Hadden said: "We have two jazz bands this year, one of which has been sponsored by Roots and Shoots florist in memory of Brenda Gardner who used to be a member of a Richmond jazz band when she was young.

"It is nice to be able to have the bands as they can be expensive to book."

She added: "Richmond Meet used to be a cycling meet, and this year we have introduced a fun cycle event on Saturday for all ages and abilities. It is no a race, just a leisurely 30 mile ride around local villages, and people can do as much or as little of the ride as they like."

  • An earlier version of this story said the change to the floats was as a result of a ruling by North Yorkshire County Council. We are happy to make clear this is not the case and apologise for any misunderstanding.