First Ilkley Pride exceeded all expectations


Over 1000 people attended a completely packed first Ilkley Pride event on Saturday at the King’s Hall and Winter Garden organised by the Ilkley Pride and Diversity group.


Spread over two sessions, the afternoon was completely full to capacity with so many young people and families in attendance, exceeding all expectations! In the Winter Garden there was a youth area with many activities, along with stalls and workshops, and food and drink.


While on stage in the King's Hall, Britain's Got Talent semi-finalists, The Bosom Buddies headlined. Mark Wood one half of the Bosom Buddies also spoke openly in an interview after their performance about coming out in Ilkley in the 1980s. Local duo The Sheds, Joze School Of Dance, Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society and singer Dan Hatton completed the afternoon line-up.


Ilkley Pride and Diversity group Chair, David Shaw MBE welcome people at the start of each session with Ilkley Town Mayor, Mark Stidworthy giving a wonderful inspiring speech about the importance of diversity and acceptance for the town of Ilkley to embrace: “I am delighted that a Pride group has been formed in Ilkley and been able to develop such an exciting event so quickly, alongside so many other partners across the town and district. Ilkley is an inclusive and open-minded community, eager to acknowledge, value and celebrate diversity in our town. Ilkley Town Council gives its full support to Ilkley Pride and are pleased to help it financially.”


MP Robbie Moore spoke in the afternoon thanking everyone for their support to Ilkley Pride following on from his total support for Keighley Pride last year and showing his strong belief in equality, inclusion and diversity for everyone across the whole constituency.


Receiving marvellous feedback, the youth area included a tombola, crafts, Girl Guiding UK, photo booth, face painting, book corner - LGBT friendly books, Karaoke with Outside The Box and Art Camp UK.


Stalls and workshops were supplied from Mesmac - Sexual health advise and STD Testing , WACA - NHS Social prescribing & Health Checks , Barnardo's - Positive identities Service , Police - LGBTQ+ Group , Bradford Fostering , West Yorkshire Queer Stories , Airedale’s LGBTQ+ staff network , Ilkley & Keighley Pride Stall , Beaumont Society – oldest support group for the adult transgender community, plus flower arranging & magic workshops just never stopped from Roger Yaxley & Flower Fairly Annette.


In the evening the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Matt Edwards. gave a heart rendering speech about being a gay man in the community with his partner Matt Hart in the audience.


Drag comedian Miss Syren, singer Richie and local dad band The Finishers kept the audience entertained and dancing until the end.


David Shaw said: “Ilkley Pride wish to thank Ilkley BID, Ilkley School of Motoring & Tyler-James Pet Supplies who were the main headline sponsors.


“We’d also like to mention The Craiglands Hotel, Walker Foster Solicitors, Banyan, Pinnacle Graphic Design Ltd, Charlie McIntosh Ltd, The Gin Lounge, Tennant & Darragh Jewellery Workshop, The Cashmere Cabin, Soul & Co Photography & Event Management, Outside the Box, Ilkley Brewery, Wharfedale Brewery and Lishman’s of Ilkley for their support.


“Grants were received from Ilkley Town Council, plus Ilkley Round Table for youth projects. Major staff support and grants were also received from Bradford MDC to enable the set-up Ilkley Pride & support Youth LGBTQ+ Groups. Without all this Ilkley Pride could not have taken place.”


Speaking about the support for businesses around town David said: “Ilkley BID were the major Sponsor. Over eighty businesses agreed to fly Pride bunting which was kindly supplied by Ilkley BID during the Pride month of June confirming Ilkley very much as the diverse and inclusive place it is to live and work. Street Pride banners still fly from Brook Street, The Grove and Station Road until mid-July amd we thank Pinnacle Design for all their assistance with this.”


The date for next year was announce straight after the finish, Ilkley Pride 2023 will be at the King's Hall on Saturday 1 July.


Organiser are keen to get feedback from those who attended and to hear from anyone interested in supporting next year’s events, sponsors or volunteers, please email ilkley.pride@gmail.com, message via the Ilkley Pride Facebook page or website www.ilkleypride.co.uk


Ilkley Pride and Diversity want to thank all those who made the event happen. Heads of each team: Safety, Stuart Hyde; Catering & Hospitality, Gail Welsh; Stalls, Liz Nightingale; Stewards, Kian Verity; Management, David Shaw MBE, John Redding and Liz Horn; Fundraising, Marie Claire. Plus Noah Markham the Youth Ambassador, Howard Jackson artist bookings; Josh Haggo the stage and steward runner; Lucia Smith for pictures along with Nabin Maharjan from Soul & Co, Chris Short from Wharfedale Rotary Club for the video and Lucy's Pop Choir who performed outside to welcome people.


David added: “We couldn’t have done this without our amazing stage manager, Isabel Ashman, plus all of our fifty stewards of all ages. Together with Jan, Tracey, Nick, Andy and their team from the King’s Hall, who were so supportive to make sure this event was successful.”