FEARS are growing that the annual Wiltshire Armed Forces and Veterans Celebrations in Trowbridge may not go ahead next year.

Two key members of the organising committee have decided they will step down in September.

They are chairman Maryrose Mantle, who has organised the celebration event since it began in 2004, and her vice-chairman Rob Blackmore.

Cllr Geoff Whiffen, of Trowbridge Town Council, said: “I am extremely worried. I have notified all the councillors and am trying to get them together to discuss it.”

Mrs Mantle said: “After 16 years, I need to step back. I have got underlying health conditions and I need to look after myself and my family a bit more.”

She has notified the organising committee, who will discuss what to do at their annual general meeting in September.

Mrs Mantle is hoping that someone from the Royal British Legion or the Royal Navy White Ensign organisation, who are represented on the committee, will take over the organisation of next year’s event.

Armed Forces Day is traditionally held on the last Saturday in June, which next year will be on June 26.

The WAFVC event is generally held over two days in Trowbridge Town Park, so would be held on June 26 and 27 2021.

It costs £20,000 to organise and usually attracts more than 15,000 visitors, as well as scores of stallholders.

Mrs Mantle added: “It’s now up to the committee to discuss it with their families.

“There’s always a chance that people will step forward from the community, with or without military connections, to volunteer.

“We are all independent volunteers and, to be honest, it’s hard work. There are lots of emails, sitting on the phone for calls and meetings to go to.

“I love it and it’s been an honour and a privilege to work on this but after 16 years I need to step back.

“We are looking for somebody else to step forward instead.

“It’s been a fantastic show and a lot of people work hard to make it a success. We get some very positive feedback from the people of Trowbridge.

“It has supported the Army Covenant and the armed forces past and present.

“It’s not just good for Trowbridge but also for Wiltshire and beyond.”Anyone wishing to take on the positions of WAFVC chairman and vice-chairman, and the vacant position of secretary, should contact Maryrose Mantle on 07866 698278 or email maryrosemantle@gmail.com