Southwold to lose another event?

A POPULAR annual event in Southwold could become the third to be axed in the town in a matter of months - although there are hopes one may now be saved.

Mark Lord

A POPULAR annual event in Southwold could become the third to be axed in the town in a matter of months - although there are hopes one may now be saved.

The seaside town's much-loved Flying Egg Contest, which would have celebrated its seventh year this year, is set to be stopped due to a lack of sponsorship.

The contest called upon participants to give an everyday item - like umbrellas and deckchairs - a new lease of life, with weird and wonderful results.

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The news comes just months after two of Southwold's other popular annual events - the Christmas Day charity swim and the amber hunt - were axed because of the increasing difficulties caused by health and safety and rising financial costs.

Flying Egg organiser Linda Sonntag said although last year's alternative umbrella challenge had been a huge success, finding sponsorship for this year's event had proved too big a hurdle to overcome.

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“I've been working on Flying Egg for eight years and there have been six competitions in that time. It was an excellent success, very popular and loved by a lot of people,” said Ms Sonntag.

“It requires a lot of money to put on and in the absence of a main sponsor I don't foresee it launching again.”

Meanwhile, Teresa Baggot, town mayor and one of the former organisers of the Christmas swim, told the EADT yesterday that despite the bad news surrounding the Flying Egg contest it seemed likely the Christmas swim event would take place after all this year.

She said: “The swim was never meant to be as big as it became. We never expected it to get so huge.

“Last year there were hundreds of people in the town on Christmas morning for the swim and we (the four organisers) decided that it had become too big for us to organise.

“We all felt we did not have the time to give to this event as organising it and making sure all the proper health and safety issues are taken into account takes a lot of work. So we decided to call it a day.

“But we are now confident that the swim will be back this year, we have a meeting in the next couple of weeks with several large organisations - such as Rotary and Marie Curie - and we are confident that one of these will as a properly organised committee take over the running of the event.”

Mrs Baggott praised the hard work of Ms Sonntag and Astrid and Robin Fournel, the organisers of the amber hunt, for their hard work, but called on more people to get involved.

“All of these events have been down to the hard work of individuals or small groups and all of them have grown in popularity and as such the organisation and often the funding necessary to put these events on has become a massive strain for the organisers.

“There is no doubt that these events brought in hundreds of extra people to the town.

“Southwold needs to keep these unique events going and more people need to get involved as these should all be run by dedicated committees who can ensure that health and safety is adhered to and that funding is in place throughout the year.”

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