'Time' called on popular beer festival near Preston

Packing them in - last summer's turnout at the Walmer Bridge Beer and Banger Festival.
Packing them in - last summer's turnout at the Walmer Bridge Beer and Banger Festival.
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A sizzling beer and banger festival has sounded last orders . . . because it has become too popular with ale lovers.

Volunteers who run the three-day fiesta in the village of Walmer Bridge near Preston have called “time” after admitting they can’t handle the pressure any more.

The news comes after organisers rolled out the barrel for a fifth time last weekend in aid of local charities.

“Our pool of volunteers is stretched to the limit,” explained Greg Smith from the Rotary Club of South Ribble.

“After five years it has become a constant treadmill. It takes so long to organise and is such a massive undertaking, that if we were going to have another next year we would be starting next week to plan it.”

The festival, which raised £50,000 for good causes in its first four years, attracted hundreds of beer fans at the weekend, although numbers were slightly down on past years because of the poor weather.

Rotarians who have organised the event since it was launched in 2015 say they had already decided to pull the plug before the first pint was drawn on Friday afternoon.

“Sadly it’s too big for one group to cope with,” added Greg. “We have talked to other groups who were interested in taking it on.

"But as soon as they realised the amount of work involved and the huge outlay, they weren’t so sure.

“People are disappointed, we’re disappointed we can’t carry on with it. But as a club we only have around 20 members and we don’t have the numbers to cope with it.”