Friends not sponsors!

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Sponsorship has been around for longer than we probably realise but in the old days it was called donations.

This was highlighted during the last few years of my policing career as a crime prevention officer. In those days I had a very pro-active crime prevention panel made up from local people who were keen to help in reducing crime through promoting and spreading the word about positive crime prevention measures.

HQ used to send me a pro-forma every month where I had to declare who my sponsors were for any local leaflet campaigns or other proactive initiatives they had paid for. I submitted the same answer every time – a nil return, but within a few hours a return phone call from HQ always asked, ‘But you are producing 10,000 leaflets or fitting window locks or external lighting, who is sponsoring you for those initiatives’.

My answer was always the same – at Brighouse we don’t have sponsors we have friends who want to support me and the panel in their efforts. I am sure as was proved on a number of occasions HQ wanted the names of sponsors so they could approach them leaving the local crime prevention officer suddenly finding his support had been hijacked. It never happened at Brighouse, I was forever grateful to all those ‘friends’ both private individuals and businesses who supported us for many years.

Long before lottery funding, awards for all and other available funding, the way to raise money for local causes was through Beetle Drives, Whist Drives, fish and chip suppers and Bring and Buy Sales. These were the traditional way groups made their money in my young days and many still do today. I remember only too well being sent usually on a Saturday morning to buy some little square 5d Bring and Buy Sale tickets from one of the organisers.

The Sale of Work I remember going to every year was the one at the Ebenezer Chapel, Bailiff Bridge. That was usually because I was a young member in the Clifton and Lightcliffe Band and the band was for many years booked to perform a concert after the tea.

I was also involved twice with a ‘Blow’athon’ with Clifton and Lightcliffe Band, those were occasions when we decided to hold marathon non-stop concerts to help raise much needed funds. The concert lasted 13 hours and another a few years later for about ten, and were two events that helped the band’s finances in those days. I remember as one of those who took part in both events and were very exhausting and we always promised a third marathon concert would never happen.

In this photograph are a group of ladies and children with barely a man in sight who have all been at the Clifton Church Bring and Buy Sale. The guest of honour on this occasion is Lady Armytage who appears to have just been presented with some flowers.

There is no date on the photograph but I would suspect it is in the very early 1960’s – if you are one of the ladies on this photograph can you date it more accurately for us?