A DEDICATED pioneer who worked tirelessly to create the successful Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival is leaving his job.
Middlewich Town Council has announced the departure of events manager Dave Thompson, who helped to attract thousands of visitors into the town.
Dave, 62, who is parting company with the council by mutual agreement, said: “I’m sad to be leaving.
“I would like to thank everyone I’ve worked with over the last 16 years, especially the community groups and volunteers who make the town’s annual events possible.
“Likewise my thanks goes to the hundreds of boaters who’ve been coming here for many years. They help to make the festival so unique.”
Dave’s band The Middlewich Paddies started the first FAB Festival in 1990.
Eighties stars Toyah and China Crisis were due to headline the 30th anniversary of the community festival next month.
The landmark celebration is now set to take place from June 16-19 next year.
“I’m proud of what the FAB Festival has achieved and hope it continues to develop and remain a highlight on the town’s calendar,” said Dave.
“I’ve been lucky to work with some fabulous artists from around the world and the UK.”
“The FAB Fringe forms the backbone of the festival,” said dad-of-two Dave, who grew up in Middlewich but now lives in Winsford. “I thank all the venues for their commitment and support.
“Despite cancelling the festival this year, the council has agreed to support a fringe festival when it is safe to do so.
“I look forward to playing with The Middlewich Paddies and The Salty Dog Blues Band.”
Dave started the Classic Car and Bike Show in 2008, raising funds for Air Ambulance and St Luke’s Hospice.
Cllr Mike Hunter, chairman of the council said “As Dave embarks on a new chapter in his life, I know that all councillors and staff wish him well.
“We need to say a massive thank you for everything Dave has done for the council, in particular for his contribution to the Folk and Boat Festivals.
“Residents will have seen Dave on festival days, ensuring the smooth running of the event, but that’s only a very small part of his contribution. All year, Dave was tirelessly organising every detail of the event, from toilets to headline acts. Thanks to his hard work, the festival has gone from strength to strength.
“To say that Dave will be missed is an understatement. On behalf of the Town Council, thank you for your many years’ commitment to Middlewich and to the events which make it a special place.”
Dave also organised heritage festivals, Romans, Normans and Second World War weekends.
“When lottery and school funds allowed, Celebrating Cultures of the World Project created new opportunities for our schools and retirement homes.
“They were able to enjoy a variety of music and dance from Africa, Australia and the Far East. The project also initiated the link between Middlewich High School and Kilimo High School in Kenya.
“I’m still organising live music and will be announcing a series of concerts soon.
“If any community groups want my help I’m happy to do what I can.”
Anyone wishing to contact Dave can call him on 07765 025596.