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Amusements man wants to help save fair
THE future of one of Oxford’s biggest community events could be saved, just days after it was announced as cancelled.
The Leys Fair used to attract up to 4,000 people to Blackbird Leys every year for more than a decade.
It was cancelled last year due to a lack of volunteers and last week local people told the Oxford Mail it looked like there was no way of saving it.
But after seeing the article, one man has stepped forward and has offered to take over the reins.
William Hebborn, of Hebborn’s Amusements in Littlemore, said: “I put in an application to the city council to organise something months ago.
“But I think someone else was trying to organise it and so I stepped down.
“After seeing the article, I am going to put the application back in and hopefully we can sort something out.”
The decision to cancel the event was made by the Blackbird Leys Community Centre Association at a crisis meeting.
The association felt it couldn’t go ahead with the full event but hoped to hold a smaller open day in place of the Leys Fair this summer.
Mr Hebborn, though, is more optimistic.
He said: “We run fairs around the city. We ran something in Rose Hill a couple of weeks ago and then at South Park for Easter.
“And we put our big rides out each year for the St Giles Fair.
“So this would be something similar. We can provide a big twist ride for the adults and then some smaller ones for children.”
Mr Hebborn is now on the hunt for local groups and organisations to make the day, on a date to be decided, go with a bang.
He said: “I can provide the rides and we know people who can do the sound system and things like that, but we now need local groups.
“Any dance groups or people like that who want to get involved can get in contact with me and we can definitely plan a big day.”
He added: “I think we want to start putting on events like this in Oxford as no-one else seems to be doing it any more.
“It is just a great opportunity for the community to get together.”
Gordon Roper Parish council chairman said it was fantastic news for the community.
He said: “Everybody will be happy about this. This has the full backing of the parish council, and we hope the community will support this all the way.
“It’s fantastic news. It will give people something to look forward to and hopefully be a positive move forward for next year and the year after.”
* Any local groups interested in getting involved can contact Mr Hebborn on 07791676157 or email email@example.com