ONE of Otley's Maypoles has snapped and fallen

The smaller Maypole on Manchester Square, opposite Otley Civic Centre, is believed to have fallen over at about 9am on Saturday, September 12.

Witnesses report hearing a loud bang at the time and the felled pole, which appeared rotten at the bottom, damaged at least one car on the way down.

It has now been removed by Otley Town Council which says it is planning to replace it.

Several local residents, including Luke William, posted the news - plus photos of the damage - on social media.

Mr William, writing on the Otley - The Community We Live In Facebook page, said: "We live opposite the Maypole and it has fallen over.

"Nobody was injured and it seems to have fallen on its own.

"I was in my flat and heard a loud bang and saw it had fallen. A gentleman who was walking by also heard a bang and confirmed that this was not done deliberately by anyone, and simply fell.

"The bark seems to have rotten away as it's quite damp. Unfortunately someone’s car has been damaged."

The Maypole is used by local Morris dancing groups to mark special occasions and especially May Day.

Morris side Wharfedale Wayzgoose have sought reassurances that the pole's specially created 'crown' will be kept safe while the replacement work is undertaken.

One member, posting as 'Jude T Obscure' on the Otley - Our Town Facebook page, has raised his concerns with MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) and Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon).

He said: "The metal 'crown' was specially designed and commissioned for it. The fallen maypole was taken away very quickly, before the crown could be removed.

"I would like to be sure it will not be scrapped, sold, melted down or otherwise misappropriated because it belongs to the town of Otley.

"Please could you find out where it is? I would also like to know when plans are put in place for the Maypole to be replaced."

Executive Officer Suzanne Kidger, replying for Otley Town Council, said: "The pole was removed by the town council before the cap disappeared. Plans are already in motion to replace it."

The larger flag/maypole on Manchester Square was found to be rotten and removed in June, 2014.

A replacement, through a £56,000 scheme funded by Leeds City Council, was eventually installed in March, 2015.