Newmarket's soapbox derby on track for second year
The success of Newmarket’s first soapbox derby was underlined when final accounts for the event were revealed to town councillors on Monday.
The figures showed that the event had exceeded all expectations by producing a small profit of £1,417 leaving the budget of £6,000 set aside for it by the council unspent.
“Everyone can be surprised at some time in their life and for me this was one of those times,” said Town Cllr James Lay, who had championed the idea of the soapbox derby, researched how other towns had organised successful events and then went ahead and staged the event on a sunny day in August when up to 5,000 people flocked to the Heath for an afternoon of thrills and spills.
Cllr Lay said he was delighted that the derby had been such a success but would not take all the credit for it.
“I must say it would not have gone so well if I had not visited organisers at Cromer, Great Dunmow and Billericay who have annual soapbox derbies.
“It meant I picked up all their accumulated knowledge so I was not starting from scratch by learning all the fundamentals,” said Cllr Lay.
He was also able to get the timekeepers and organiser from the two Essex events to keep everything running smoothly on the day.
“I must express again my thanks to the Jockey Club and its employees who helped out on the day. They were brilliant,” said Cllr Lay.
Next year’s soapbox derby will be held on Sunday, August 30, when changes will include more entertainment, especially for children, more food stalls, a race for teenage soapboxers and a giant screen so visitors can see every bit of the action.