Ellingham Show reports ‘substantial but manageable’ loss after last two shows cancelled

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Racing at the most recent Ellingham Show in 2018

A SUBSTANTIAL loss has been reported by Ellingham and Ringwood Agricultural Society after it had to cancel the last two shows due to bad weather and the coronavirus.

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At the AGM at the end of last month, show chairman Steve Thompson revealed it had suffered a “substantial but manageable loss for 2019”.

No precise figure was given for the amount but, in a statement, he revealed that it was less than £50,000.

Despite the setback, Mr Thompson said he believed the society was still in “great shape to bounce back in 2021”.

As reported in the A&T, in 2019 the traditional show at Somerley Park was cancelled in advance of forecasts of heavy wind and rain which caused damage around the area. This year the popular event in August was called off due to the pandemic.

Mr Thompson added: “Inevitably we have suffered financially. But it is a manageable loss, under £50,000.

“This is thanks to our members’ subscriptions, reduced bills from some of our suppliers, and a negotiated insurance settlement and to our reserves, which our trustees have husbanded very cautiously.

“New committee members are lined up to take over as others stand down. And we are therefore completely confident that the Ellingham and Ringwood Agricultural Society is well resourced to stage a show in 2021.”

He was making his remarks via a Zoom meeting which was held in place of the normal AGM, due to the coronavirus restrictions.

During the meeting Mr Thompson talked about last year’s cancellation, saying it was “another, very unwelcome first”.

He said: “We have never before had to cancel a show because of bad weather; and you will remember the dangerously strong winds with a very high risk of danger, or injuries to people, animals and property on the showground. Mercifully there were none.”

The show has been running since 1947, and this year’s should have taken place on 8th August.

Posting a message on the society’s Facebook page to mark the date, Mr Thompson wrote: “After the last-minute cancellation of the 2019 show, due to extreme weather conditions, never did we believe a year on that the world would be as it is today and that we would have to cancel this year’s show also.

“These are such unsettling times for us all, and all we can say is please stay safe everyone and hope next year things will be different.”

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