The BBC Radio Norfolk Old Car Rally
End of an era for Police Gala Day and Old Car Rally
The annual BBC Radio Norfolk Old Car Rally at the Royal Norfolk Showground has driven into the sunset for the final time, as Norfolk police look towards a new, but smaller form of community events.
The BBC Radio Norfolk Old Car Rally has braked to a halt, as after 27 years of creaking exhausts, leather seats and polished steering wheels, the Police Gala Day undergoes a facelift.
The Norfolk Constabulary Police Gala Day will have a new look in 2009, as it prepares to organise a smaller event or series of events that are more in tune with Norfolk's communities.
"The event has outgrown its original objectives and we need to refocus on how we connect with the people we serve," said Anne Campbell, spokesperson for Norfolk Constabulary.
Although it means the end of an era for the gala day and car rally in partnership, the police look forward to continuing to work with BBC Radio Norfolk in 2009 at the new venue or venues.
End of an era
The Police Gala Day has been put on hold as the Norfolk Constabulary try and refocus their ambitions for the event.
"It's not so much the end of an era, but the beginning of something new. The Police Gala Day has been going on for so long, it has evolved and outgrown itself," said Anne.
The police want to refocus the gala day
"We're looking at doing something smaller and closer to home, in a format that's likely to allow people to enter for free," she added.
The recent credit crunch does have a small part to play in the decision.
"We don't have an infinite budget, so we do have to look at the pennies like everyone else, but it's mainly logistics and the fact that a huge amount goes into organising this event," said Anne.
"It's certainly been one of the largest of its kind and there's certain risks that came with it, including the storm we had last year".
Learning about the police force
The new events the Norfolk Constabulary have in mind are aimed at educating Norfolk's communities.
"The police is about giving policing services to the local people, so we want to leave the big events to the specialists. Our aim is to get closer to our communities," said Anne.
"We've got a campaign that's been running for some time now, which is about putting people at the heart of what we do.
"We know people want to know about their police and they're very interested in the cars we drive and our four-legged canine recruits, so we want to take the best elements of what the police has to offer and make a smaller package".
The Old Car Rally
Even though there is sadness that the car rally will not take place, BBC Radio Norfolk is determined to keep remembering the cars of the past.
David Clayton is sad the rally will end
"For 24 years we've joined the police and put the old car element into the gala day," said David Clayton, editor of BBC Radio Norfolk.
"It started as a gathering of about 90 cars from Norfolk and it's become almost a national event.
"BBC Radio Norfolk is still going to cover classic car events and there are many others in the county.
"We now know an event which aims to capture the spirit of the Gala Day will be run by Steve Thacker and the Norfolk Showground on Sunday, 6 September, 2009.
"Steve was involved with the Police Gala Day for 16 years and is now privately organising a big family day out, which will involve classic vehicles and transport of all kinds. BBC Radio Norfolk plans to broadcast from the event."
last updated: 03/03/2009 at 13:55