VOLUNTEERS have issued an urgent plea for help to secure the future of a long-running fete which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

The first Kirby Fete was held more than a century ago in 1900.

It has been a mainstay in the village ever since, drawing huge crowds with the promise of exciting performances and inclusive games.

The only time the fete did not go ahead was during the Second World War, when the Army took over its church hall venue.

The fete made its return in 1947, when it was decided to use its current home at Glebe Field, and has continued annually ever since.

Now organisers are hoping to bring in more support to make sure this successful streak continues.

Lorraine Crowder chairman of an organising committee made up of just three people, said: "We cannot do this on our own.

"But there is a thin line between encouraging help and people feeling there may be so much work it puts them off.

"This is why we want to bring in some small sub committees and working parties, made up of people willing to collect prizes and fundraise for the event.

"We need people who will help to arrange the site, people who can help to organise the car parking arrangements and even just people who can contribute a little bit of time on the day itself

"It would take a little pressure off us and ensure the continuity of the fete."

Last year the fete featured tractor and trailer rides from the car park to the event, as well as belly dancers, cheerleaders, magic shows and games including tug of war and sack races.

A meeting will be held at St Michael's Church Hall, in The Street, Kirby, from 7.30pm until 8.30pm, on Wednesday.

The committee will be finalised and supporters are welcome to put themselves forward as volunteers.

Lorraine added: "We also love it when groups get involved.

"Phoenix Allstars, CL Cheerleaders, Smooth Grooves, and a couple of representatives from Frinton FC and local brownies, guides and rotary clubs helped last year on stalls.

"Without their support we just could not have achieved such a fantastic day and contributions to charities."

This year the event will be held on August 26, from noon until 7pm.