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Notes from the Bale Push Organisers

Posted on 03/07/2013 by Bale Push Administrator in General News
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The Bale Push is now in its fourteenth year and has gone from strength to strength. The original idea has grown into an event that has far exceeded the expectations of its founder members and the money raised now exceeds £55,000. Much of our revenue is provided by the individuals and companies to sponsor their space in this Magazine [we are of course hugely grateful to them]. That figure does not include the monies raised during the evening by the organisations that have their stalls on site or the monies raised by individual teams who have been sponsored to take part. Besides providing an enjoyable evening for all concerned; the evening does have serious intent and that is of course to raise money to support others with our local and wider community.

Since 2000 we have supported more than 40 different organisations making donations to them ranging from £100 to over £3000. Each year the selection of organisations to support is very difficult and many hours are spent deliberating over which worthy causes to adopt. There are many criteria which are discussed at length!

Since 2000 we have supported more than 40 different organisations making donations to them ranging from £100 to over £3000. Each year the selection of organisations to support is very difficult and many hours are spent deliberating over which worthy causes to adopt. There are many criteria which are discussed at length!

This year the Committee has selected Multiple Sclerosis [Mid Cornwall Branch], Newquay Coastguard Association, Little Hearts Matter and Young People Cornwall. One of the stipulations for the organisations who receive our support is that the money they receive must be used to provide support the people who live in Cornwall. You can find out more about these organisations and an update on last year’s fund raising further on in the Magazine.

As the years have gone by since the first Bale Push there have been many developments which have occurred to make the evening as safe and enjoyable for spectators and competitors alike. Many months of careful planning meetings take place, occasionally with pint and sandwich in hand [thanks to the support of our local pubs – always technically known as ABC –ie The Albion, Bowgie and Cornishman!] before the event to ensure that we have thought of everything.

The course needs to be checked and Risk Assessed to comply with legal requirements [you may have noticed on the days before the event our Committee members roaming the village cutting back over grown branches and filling in potholes [especially on Poor Man’s Lane].

Our Time Keepers have a tricky task … this year we have a change in personnel and welcome long time supporter Trevor Tanner in the role a Chief Timekeeper. Trevor and his team have their work cut out firstly ensuring that they can work the Stop Watch and then that they are keeping tabs on the correct bale! Each Age Group is closely fought and ensuring that the Time Keepers that you have pressed the “start” button on your stop watch at the appropriate moment and that it is working is all very stressful and demanding!

We have been hugely fortunate over the years to have had Father Morley, and in more recent years Father Jeremy as our BALE STOPPERS - their good humour and involvement on the evening is pivotal to the safety and enjoyment at the start and finish line. They both successful “double up” as prize presenters during the evening and have appeared in what must now be hundreds of photographs – sporting their famous “Bale Stopper” shirts.

One of the most important aspects of the proceeding is, of course the bales – which are fundamental to the success of the whole event. This is where planning is crucial … and it starts early in October with the planting of the wheat seed in local fields – the seeds grow into fine strong plants and must be harvested in early summer and specially wrapped at just the right time [only the best bales are selected!]. Our bales are then stored at a secret location to ensure they are in perfect condition to be used on the second Friday in September. We are indebted to the Pascoe Family for the continued support.

The most iconic part of the whole evening The Bale Man – he has been imitated but never equaled! He is always seen in the weeks prior to the event loitering along the roadside by the Crantock Turnoff and, of course in the Village on the evening proudly displayed on his trailer. The arrival of The Bale Push Man causes great excitement in various quarters of our community! To the outside world he is usually first seen in late August at the Crantock Junction just up from the Trevemper Roundabout – however he is often spied on trips up Trevowah Road and going to Cubert. Once the evening is over he seems to vanish … however this is not the case! He reappears for his annual photo shoot at The Bowgie in October before starting his well earned rest.

The popularity of the evening has increased dramatically over the years. We have many teams who return year after year along with their supporters. The date for the Bale Push is put in many calendars so that competitors and spectators from further afield can plan their holidays so not to miss the evening. The Village Hall Car Park is usually bursting at the seams with all kinds of transport and the Village Hall Committee who always “man” the Car Park have a very busy time in the early evening getting the vehicles neatly parked and the spectators directed to the centre of the village where all the action is. Our visitors are always greeted by the sounds of a local band [this year we again welcome Newquay Town Band] and the smell of our barbeque and delicious pasties. The Committee members are delighted that Crantock Bakeries and Bookers have kindly agreed to sponsor us again this year – each year they make a large donation to us and supply their excellent pasties and burgers for you to sample.

Last year we had 130 teams taking part in the six different age groups – Sally Eustice and her registration and results team coordinate this and organise the order of “Push” - which has become more technical as the years have gone on. And in more recent years pieces of paper have been replaced by lap tops and projectors to keep spectators and competitors up to date during the evening.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s event and we ask that you and your family have a happy time and are vigilant at all times as the bales can roll up at any time!!!! Our Marshalls are carefully selected and trained prior to the event and this team is responsible for the “on the course” safety of spectators and competitors. We ask that competitors and all spectators especially those with children to be extra careful on the course and to obey the directions of the Marshalls [who you cannot miss in their high visibility jackets!!!]. Please be aware that the practice of trying to run ahead of the bale is very dangerous and could result on serious injury … or worse. It should also be noted that competitors should wear appropriate footwear.

We always have many individuals to thank. Our set up team who start early on Friday morning getting the course ready for the event - this includes John Richards and his team with their barriers, Chris Eustice who always manages to reverse the trailer into that small space without hitting the surrounding fences, Pat Gray and Tony Brokenshire who oversee the practicalities of getting the course ready. We have a larger group who help during the evening including our Marshalls plus Janet and Keith Barker who are our Barbi experts along with Beckie Pryor who controls the catering team and of course, Sue Dennett who always bakes tasty cakes for us to sell. We must also thank Matt Horrocks who sits in his tractor on Beach Road during the Open and 180 event ensuring that the bales make the right-hand turn into Poor Man’s Lane [otherwise the next stop is the beach Car Park!!!!]. I hope that no one has been left out.

We would of course like to thank our sponsors, competitors, spectators and supporters.