Call for community support and donations to secure Rushcart Festival

SADDLEWORTH Morris Men are calling on the kind-hearted community to help them muster funds so this year’s Rushcart Festival can go ahead.

The popular annual tradition, which was revived in 1974, costs around £3,000 to put on, including the cost of traffic management and medical cover.

The side is raising funds themselves, including through a Beer Festival to be held in August, but hopes the public can support them by contributing on their Just Giving page.

The Festival takes place over a weekend in August and attracts up to 25 Morris teams from across the country and often overseas to celebrate the tradition of rushbearing.

On the Saturday, the sides pull their 13ft Rushcart with the jockey on top through Saddleworth’s villages and dance at various venues to accompanying folk music.

On Sunday there is more dancing, a service at Saddleworth St Chad’s Church in Uppermill and an afternoon of fun and games.

Saddleworth Morris Men said: “The whole event marks a tradition which was revived in 1974 and continues to be a popular and important event in the Saddleworth calendar.

“It is self-funded through public support and donations. The pandemic forced Rushcart to be cancelled for two years. During that time there was little opportunity to fundraise.

“The event desperately needs help funding for this year’s event and also to help in preparing for a long-term strategy to ensure Rushcart continues.

“The side must pay for the services of a Traffic Management Company to assist with road closures as well as providing an appropriate level of medical cover which meets authoritative guidelines.

“Saddleworth Morris Men are committed to raising funds themselves and have organised a Beer festival to be held in August. We need the public‘s help to secure the funding for this year’s event.”

Saddleworth Morris Men are celebrating five decades of dancing this year, with three of the original members still performing with the side.

  • Find out more about Saddleworth Morris Men on their Facebook page.

You can read more about their Rushcart fundraising and donate on their Just Giving page.

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