Christmas 1965, and the Parish Church choir had just finished their Christmas concerts.
Over a glass of sherry at the Vicarage, the vicar’s next door neighbour, Roy Rimmer, said
“What a pity this only happens at Christmas. What Wetherby needs is a Festival, to bring in
the schools, as well!” Roy was Leeds Education’s music adviser and knew a lot about
So in 1976 the Vicar, the Rev Jonathan Bailey, floated the idea more widely. ‘Some sort of
community activity’ was his concept. The responses were enough for him to call an open
meeting. Some 40 organisations turned up. They ranged from a Drama Society to Flower
Clubs, Rotary and the Lions. They chose the period in November 1977 between Guy
Fawkes Day and Remembrance Sunday so the whole thing could start with a bang. An
eleven strong committee was chaired by the Vicar. They included Val Humphries as Social
Secretary, Peter Osborn, who used to manage the Rodney Cinema, on publicity, and Ted
Kilner the youth leader who was put in charge of booking the professional artists.
“Marvellous” said Mr Bailey. “A collection of such able people with so many contacts and
so wide an experience.”