SADDLEWORTH CAME together to raise thousands of pounds for charities at a host of colourful parties in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.
The Labour politician, who was MP for Batley and Spen, was killed on the street in June 20
A year on, Great Get Togethers were held up and down the country as people celebrated Jo’s words: “We have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.
At The White Hart, Lydgate, a staggering £6,160 was raised for the victims of the Manchester terror attack, with donations still coming in.
Around 500 people enjoyed the event in the inn’s new Pavilion and gardens, organised in just a week by The Saddleworth Round Table, Love Lydgate and Saddleworth 41 Club.
They tucked into a hog roast, pizzas, and a range of beers, and enjoyed live entertainment and music, stalls and games, and a visit from local falconer Luke Summers.
A raffle helped to raise funds, along with a silent auction with incredible prizes including a football shirt and boots signed by Paul Scholes, a signed Manchester City shirt, hampers, gift vouchers and meal vouchers.
Henry Burbidge, chair of Round Table, said: “I was cleaning up from Band in the Barn when Dave McDougall rang and said Charles Brierley at the White Hart had asked if we could do something the next weekend!
“We have been utterly overwhelmed by the support of the local community. In light of recent events I believe people really wanted to get behind the Get Together and this was very obvious with the amount of people who attended.
“We want to thank everybody involved in helping out on the day as well as everybody who attended. Without your support we would not be able to donate such a large amount to a worthy cause.”
“The generosity from suppliers was unprecedented,” added Charles. “This meant there were no costs for the beer festival, wines and soft drinks, plus the hog roast and pizzas.
“Over 20 volunteers worked tirelessly all afternoon on our hottest summer day to date.
“Entertainment, again provided FREE by Anthony Kinsey and his band as well as the Pennine Singers, meant for a real party atmosphere and with 50 raffle and auctions prizes donated by local businesses, even more funds were added to the proceeds.”
Jenny Greenwood of Love Lydgate said: “This genuinely was a Great Get together.
“It was wonderful to work with so many volunteers from all the different groups and the staff at the White Hart who pulled out all the stops.
“Great atmosphere and a tremendous effort all round. Thank you, we couldn’t have achieved it without everyone who came along.”
Elsewhere, at Lido House retirement housing in Grotton there was a celebration with music from Lydgate Brass Band, stand up bingo, refreshments and entertainment with Funky Fitness and Fun.
There was also 1960s music and a prize for the best fancy dress outfit, with all proceeds from the event going to charity.
Meanwhile, there was a celebration of Jo Cox’s life at a picnic at the King George V playing fields in Uppermill.
At the busiest time, around 50 people enjoyed the event, organised by the Saddleworth and Lees Labour party, setting up chairs and blankets in the glorious sunshine.
Magda Sachs, local Labour group chairperson, said: “It was nice to have such a beautiful day and chat with people we see but don’t always have time to speak to at leisure.
“It was good to contribute to the commemoration of Jo Cox like this.”
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, popped into the event with her husband John.