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Future of Driffield Trip Day under threat after 100 years

For more than 100 years, the people of Driffield and Little Driffield have made the short journey to Bridlington as part of the annual Driffield Trip Day.

But last year’s centenary outing looks likely to be the last after a recent meeting of the Driffield Trip Day committee concluded that one of the town’s longest-running traditions would no longer take place.

A combination of factors, such as insurance, rising costs and dwindling numbers on the organising committee, have led to the toughest of decisions being made.

Since 1922, hordes of day-trippers have made the 13-mile journey to Bridlington, via train, coach and bus, with the only interruptions coming during World War Two and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last August, 253 children and their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were sent on their way from Driffield School & Sixth Form, before reaching Bridlington, where they were free to explore at their leisure.

Driffield Trip Day 2022 – Bridlington Beach – Centenary event –

At the recent meeting, two long-standing members of the Driffield Trip Day committee announced they would be stepping back from their roles.

This meant that Jolyon Lawson, Stuart Bradshaw and Tim Cooper, all of whom have a long association with the event, would have been left to organise Trip Day.

But with other commitments of their own, the trio were forced to make the tough decision to bring the curtain down on Driffield Trip Day.

“At the meeting of the committee, two members announced their resignation due to other commitments that mean they cannot devote as much time to helping with the event,” Jolyon told the Wolds Weekly.

“One of those was Jayne Ledger, who my dad, Colin, brought on board, whilst the other committee member was my wife, Adele Lawson, who has recently changed jobs.

“That left just three committee members, Tim Cooper, Stuart Bradshaw and I. We all agreed that we didn’t want to take on any further responsibilities for Trip Day and therefore we had to make the hard and much deliberated decision that the 100th Trip Day was probably the last.”

Driffield Trip Day’s origins started before 1922 when every Sunday school in the town organised their own outing to Bridlington.

Despite some resistance, the event was brought together, with Stuart’s grandfather, Alfred Bradshaw, and a man called William Foster heavily involved.

Colin Lawson and Allan Bradshaw, the fathers of Jolyon and Stuart, were long-serving committee members, with their sons following in their footsteps.

Donations, from organisations such as Driffield Town Council, have helped to keep Driffield Trip Day going, particularly recently when the pandemic threatened its existence.

But with the ever-increasing cost of living and potential insurance claims landing on their doorstep, the financial future of the event appeared less stable in the years to come.

Jolyon has stressed to trip-goers that the decision the committee eventually made was a difficult one for all involved.

“As a committee, we discussed where the event was going,” he said. “We have had issues with red tape for many years now, particularly insurance.

“We have been lucky that no-one has ever put in a claim against us, mainly due to the fact that Trip Day is a good-natured event.

“But as trustees of the Trip Day charity, we would be responsible for any insurance claims and it means our houses are literally on the line.

“And that is just one of the reasons why we each felt that we have done as much as we can for Trip Day.

“We managed to keep going for the 100th Trip Day and perhaps that is a good time to bow out.

“After a couple of years off for COVID, we returned and found that the price of everything was much more expensive.

“We want to stress that we are very disappointed that we’ve had to reach this decision and it’s one that we didn’t take lightly, we thought long and hard about it.

“Between the committee, we have put in 130 years of our time into Trip Day and our families before have done just as much.

“Times change and things are not getting any easier. It’s not as easy to secure funding these days and looking at the financial projections, it was likely we would need more help putting the event on.

“Driffield Trip Day has been a very good event and I, and the rest of the committee, have been proud to play a part in it.”

Could Driffield Trip Day still have a future, with the tradition continuing for future generations of people from Driffield and Little Driffield?

Jolyon said he is open to having a chat with a group of people who would be interested in taking over the running of the event.

However, he added that it’s not as easy as turning up on an August morning and making sure everyone gets on the bus to Bridlington.

“I am happy to speak to anyone who would like to pick up the baton and discuss what would be required of them,” said Jolyon.

“It would be great if a group of people wanted to take over the running of Trip Day.

“But what they must realise is that it’s not just the event they are responsible for, they would also be overseeing a charity, which all the trustees are liable for.

“However, I’d be pleased to talk to anyone who wants to maintain one of Driffield’s longest traditions for the good of the town.”

Driffield Town Council has confirmed that the future of Driffield Trip Day will be discussed at its next meeting in early April.

“We want to see the event continue and view this as a great opportunity for a new set of trustees to take this unique Driffield tradition forward,” said Driffield town clerk, Matthew Brown.

“The mayor has requested that the potential demise of the Trip Day be placed on our 4th April agenda so that we can heighten the awareness and potentially welcome new trustees recruited through our new Wolds Volunteer Network.”

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