THERE WAS plenty of joy at Riddlesden Gala on Saturday despite the 36-year-old event coming to an end.

Downpours failed to stop the fun as superheroes took to the streets for what could be the last-ever procession.

Knowledge that the gala was folding – due to the retirement of the entire long-serving committee – prompted a few people to an express an interest in taking over.

The volunteer committee adopted a superhero theme for this year’s parade from the Marquis of Granby pub to the gala field at Riddlesden St Mary’s Primary School.

Taking part were City of Bradford Pipe Band, Rainbow Morris Dancers, Silsden All-Stars Majorettes and Jamba Samba band.

Committee chairman Geoffrey Baldwin said the procession went very well, adding: “There weren’t as many people as normal on the street watching, but there were more taking part in the procession itself than in recent years.

“In the fancy dress parade there was a group from St Mary’s School with adults walking with them, and members of the Sunday School from Ilkley Road Methodist Church.”

The Keighley town mayor, Councillor Peter Corkindale, walked in the procession and judged the fancy-dress. The winner was Poppy Nutting.

Mr Baldwin said many field events were moved inside the school, with stalls in the hall and a reduced entertainment programme including morris dancers, pipe band and Scottish dancers.

Mr Baldwin added: “The two youngest sets of majorettes performed, but not the older ones because they throw their batons around a lot.

“Attendance was down by about half, but because we were squashed into the hall it was still busy. You couldn’t move, it was absolutely heaving.

“The mood was brilliant and everyone enjoyed themselves. We turned a small profit despite the high costs.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported the gala both before and on the day, and all those who have helped over the years.”

The gala committee estimate they have raised about £700 to be shared between their two chosen charities, the Keighley and District branch of the National Autistic Society and the Pass On Preloved Items (POPI) group.