Hayrides and Haydays
The Victorian Hayride was the idea of Ernie Teal who, many years ago, wanted to
come up with an event to raise money to help in the fight against Cancer. He recalled
the days when all the village would turn out and ride on horse-drawn hay wagons into
the countryside, to enjoy a village picnic. Ernie decided to recreate those bygone days
and, with the help of villagers and horsemen from around the County, the Walkington
Victorian Hayride was born.
The Hayride quickly became a spectacular event with the Sunday parade being
the longest procession of horse drawn vehicles on the open road in the country.
Other functions developed around the parade and soon the village enjoyed a week
of colourful and fun activities, culminating in the Hayride itself.
Raising money for charity
Over the years the Hayride raised well in excess of a quarter of a million
pounds for the local branches of many charities, an astonishing achievement
for a village event.
However, it was not just about raising money as it quickly developed into
a village institution, bringing together old and new villagers alike. It was a
wonderfully informative and educational event, bringing history to life for
generations of children, and a focal point in the calendar for the East Riding
of Yorkshire, attracting visitors from far afield.
The end of The Hayride
We are all very proud of the Victorian Hayride and what has been achieved
but we recognised that all good things must, at some point, come to an end.
In its latter few years, crowds dwindled as other events competed with the
Hayride for interest and support. The parade itself became increasingly difficult
to pull together as heavy horses are no longer working on farms and insurance
restricted many of those that remained from attending such a public occasion.
Despite loyal support from horsemen across the North of England, a procession
of heavy horses was no longer easy to arrange.
The Hayride committee recognised these growing problems and following
further discussion with the Horsemen, who continued to offer as much support
as they could, a decision had to be made about the future of the Hayride
It was with great regret that the Hayride committee took the
decision that the 40th Walkington Victorian Hayride Parade in
2007 would be the last.
We were all sad to have had to come to this decision but we believed that this
glorious event should finish with a bang and we set out to make the Final 40th
the biggest and the best and the Villagers of Walkington did so. After a week of
truly awful weather Hayride day dawned bright and clear, crowds of people
gathered along the route, collecting tins rattled, and a staggering £6000 was
collected for local charities.