A FESTIVAL of family fun that aimed to lift New Ferry’s spirits after the explosion earlier this year has been branded an ‘overwhelming success’ by organisers.
Classic cars, military vehicles, live music and a procession of Harley Davidson motorbikes featured during the event, which took place in the town’s precinct and park last weekend.
Organised by New Ferry Residents’ Association and Wirral Council it aimed to lift community spirits and show the town is open for business following the explosion that rocked the town on March 25, and for everyone to have some fun.
The festival had been planned before the disaster to raise much needed funds for New Ferry’s christmas lights.
The rain held off and sun came out for a showcase combining the best of classic vehicle weekends held in the precinct in 2013 and 2014 with the New Ferry Park fun weekends that took place from 2006 to 2010.
Its success has prompted calls to hold it again next year.
The park played host to a part original WW2 Spitfire, V1 flying bomb, Green Goddess fire engine, tank transporter and other military vehicles.
There were also pony rides, pet shows, creepy crawlies, and various stalls. Complete Works, whose dance studio was destroyed in the blast, danced for a large crowd of spectators.
A karaoke challenge and several choirs were staged in the damaged but now functioning precinct.
Among the festival’s sponsors were Asda, Tesco, Co-op, Port Sunlight-based Unilever, Birkenhead Timber Supplies, and the council’s main contractor BAM Nuttall.
Mark Anthony Craig, chair of the residents association, told the Globe: “It started out as a small local event, but the explosion changed everything.
“Once word got out about our plans, companies and individuals began stepping forward offering to help.
“The number of people who attended over the two days exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“Residents affected by the blast have struggled with insurance companies being very slow to pay out.
“New Beginnings, set up to help raise funds for the victims, has been able to help out residents, but businesses have been suffering too.
“This event will help local traders by bringing people back into New Ferry to reconnect with them, and the christmas lights will also add some cheer to the centre this winter.”
Asked whether the event will become an annual one, Mr Craig said that the community was already asking for the festival to be run again next year.
Meanwhile, the Residents Association will be teaming up with others to put on a winter extravaganza in the district centre this December.