Botesdale: Doubt growing over future of popular village race event

Some of the weird and wacky racers in the Botesdale Soap Box Grand Prix.

Some of the weird and wacky racers in the Botesdale Soap Box Grand Prix. - Credit: Archant

A popular village race which attracts thousands of people is unlikely to go ahead unless someone comes forward after fears over the cost of insurance.

The Botesdale Soap Box Race has been a fixture in the calendar of the village, near Eye, for the past eight years.

But the couple who organised and set up the event, Chris and Morag Burnard, said they could no longer risk staging it.

“At the moment it’s unlikely to go ahead unless someone comes forward,” Mr Burnard said.

“It might be that another group comes forward and does it and we would assist them. We have run it for eight years and we have put our neck on the line. It’s never been cancelled before; it’s been a huge success and it has raised quite a lot of money for causes.

“We always have had more than 2,000 people attend and everyone looked forward to it. It was a great community and family event. The problem is that we are in a litigious society and people do not want to put their neck on the line.”

Mr Burnard said he had been in contact with Botesdale Parish Council about taking on the event. He said it could look at forming an organising committee for the event.

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He added that although the couple would not be organising the event he would be happy to continue to fund it.

No one from the parish council was available to comment.

The Botesdale event had been traditionally held on the August bank holiday and would see would-be racing drivers speed through the village in karts they had created.

Earlier this month this year’s Eye Show, which attracts crowds of about 20,000 had to be cancelled.