Donkeys back at Sheffield gala one year after they were cancelled in bizarre licensing row

Donkeys which had to be withdrawn from Beighton Gala in a row over licensing.
Donkeys which had to be withdrawn from Beighton Gala in a row over licensing.
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It was a bizarre red tape row that gave Beighton Gala national headlines and even a mention in the House of Commons.

But thousands of residents heading to the event on Beighton Welfare Recreation Ground this Saturday can be reassured that donkey rides will be available, one year after they had to be cancelled at the last minute as Sheffield Council said organisers needed a little-known ‘riding school licence.’

The move left scores of youngsters disappointed and organisers baffled by the decision.

Then the story was picked up across the country andmentioned in the Commons by minister Brandon Lewis who said: “If we’re banning donkey rides then most of our seaside resorts are in big trouble.”

Tracy Higginbottom, organiser, said: “Last year we had a lot of publicity and even the mention in the Commons but we can reassure people this year that we will have donkeys.

“We’ve had a visit from people in licensing and everything is sorted. The man who runs the donkeys has the licence and I believe he’s probably the only person in the whole of Enfland that has got it.”

The gala attracted 15,000 people through the day last year.

On Saturday there will also be 100 stalls , a parade, classic car and sheep shearing displays.

Food, Punch and Judy shows, two fun fairs and charity stalls are also lined up.

Entry to the event is free.