THE Burley Summer Festival 2017 has been declared a great success as planning gets underway for this year's event.

The annual meeting of the Festival was held at the end of last year when chairwoman Sylvia Tilford, said they had enjoyed greater feedback from Festival-goers than any previous year.

Sylvia reported on the diverse range of activities and events organised in 2017, many involving community venues and groups, and also events that wouldn't normally take place in the village such as the ever-popular Opera evening.

The AGM was attended by committee members, event organisers including Walkers are Welcome, who provide numerous walks to the Festival programme and local residents. During the meeting there was a reminder of the Festival constitution and a reflection of the Festival's vision: the Festival was established to fill a gap in the village's diary during August, particularly for those who don't go away, at low cost aiming to cater for a wide range of interests and also to benefit the community in a variety of ways.

The AGM also saw the committee agree to dispose of some of the Festival's surplus funds given that it is a not-for-profit organisation. Donations were agreed for the Burley in Wharfedale Churches Community Christmas Lunch, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the Western Nepal Disability Trust, Build Africa, the Teenage Cancer Trust and a new village project to digitalise the Burley historical archive.

On receipt of its donation, the Teenage Cancer Trust, which provides support to young people in numerous ways, thanked the committee for the donation and shared a message from Melissa who diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was age 13:

“When I was moved to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward, the difference was huge. It had lots of space where you could relax, like a sitting room and a kitchen, and there were other people my own age. I wasn't alone in my illness anymore, and that helped me to feel more positive. The staff on the unit were so helpful, too. They didn't baby you or patronize you. They supported and treated you, but they also comforted and guided you, like a friend would.”

The election of the committee for 2017/18 took place, although the committee is keen to seek a further two or three further members. Anyone interested should contact Sylvia Tilford on 01943 863218 or email

The next monthly Festival committee meeting takes place on Wednesday, January 17. The committee would like to receive suggestions for events that people would like to see included in 2018 and also any offers to provide events.

The committee has earmarked Saturday, August 18 to Monday, August 27 for the 2018 Festival.