THIS year’s Ellingham Show has been cancelled over safety fears after weather warnings of wind and rain.
The popular event due to be held tomorrow (Saturday) at the Somerley estate was called off late yesterday following repeated alerts from the Met Office of heavy rain today (Friday) and strong winds tomorrow.
A show spokesperson said: “With dangerously high winds forecast for Saturday, we have decided to cancel this year’s show.
“A great many people have worked very hard towards this year’s event. We’re very grateful for all their contributions and sorry to have to cancel. But you cannot put a price on safety.”
Tickets could not be bought in advance, so no refunds will have to be handed out.
Thousands had been looking forward to the traditional show, which first started in 1947 and had been due to feature exciting main ring spectacles, animals, food and shopping.
The event is run by a charity staffed entirely by volunteers and it aims to give more than £20,000 every year to local charities.
The cancellation means no appearance for first-time attractions the Rockwood Dog Display Team, from Caerphilly, or the planned exhibition of a horse-drawn St Giles fire engine which was built over a century ago for the Earl of Shaftesbury.
Trade stands and food stalls will also miss out on a day of trading, with disappointment too for livestock owners hoping to bring their animals to compete for prizes. There had been several new classes up for grabs this year.
As reported in the A&T, occasions around the area were bracing themselves for the weather this weekend, although Sunday is expected to be quieter.
The Lymington Seafood Festival, which runs tomorrow and Sunday, said this week it was putting safety first but so far was “making preparations for a great, if a little blustery, weekend”.
Its website said today: “The Lymington Seafood Festival will be going ahead as planned.”
The fundraising fun day for the Mudeford RNLI is also still going ahead on Sunday.