Spectators are encouraged to come and motorists are advised to stay away from Knaresborough this weekend.
This Saturday (11 June 2011) will see the 46th Annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race. The eccentric charity event is organised by the Knaresborough Lions and was started in 1966. It has been copied across the UK and the world and has featured on television programmes as diverse as Transworld Sport and Songs of Praise.
The programme starts at 10am with the Beds arriving in Knaresborough Castle Grounds. Judging for the ‘Best Decorated Bed’ will take place between 11:30 and 12:00. This years judging panel includes Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones and Lions President, Alan Gilbert. The theme for this year’s event is ‘British History.’
Following the judging there will be a parade of beds, floats and bands through the streets of Knaresborough at 1pm which will conclude at Conyngham Hall. The Mayor of Knaresborough, Andrew Willoughby, will welcome the spectators and the runners before the race itself sets off at 3pm. There will be entertainment from 11am onwards at Conyngham Hall fields.
The event has proven very popular over the years. 90 teams are registered to take place in this year’s event. Thousands of spectators are also expected to descend upon the North Yorkshire town to show their support.
Motorists are being warned that the town and surrounding area will be very busy and there will be road closures. The road closures are:
• Knaresborough Market (from Noon);
• Silver Street (from Noon);
• Knaresborough High Street (from 12:30);
• Bond End (from 12:30);
• Boroughbridge Road (part – from 12:30);
• Harrogate Road (part – 12:30);
• Brewerton Street (part);
• Fisher Street;
• Castle Ings;
• Waterside (from Castle Mills to High Bridge)
The roads are expected to open again from 5pm.
If you do wish to visit Knaresborough on Saturday the organisers are providing a free park and ride service every 15 minutes from the Knaresborough Technology Park on Manse Lane (just off the York Road). The service will run between 10am and 2:30pm and again between 3:30pm and 6:30pm. Northern Rail are also reported to be adding extra carriages to its services into the town.
The Met Office is forecasting some rain early on Saturday which will be clearing North Eastwards and leaving sunny spells.