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Clifftop 75th WWII celebration and steam rally cancelled

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Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show was due to be held in July
Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show was due to be held in July

A TWICE-postponed clifftop celebration of the end of the Second World War has now been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Victory 75 Party on the Clifftop had been planned in Marine Drive in Barton on 5th June – marking the anniversary of the London Victory Celebrations held on 8th June 1946 after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan.

This event had replaced the Victory Over Japan 75th anniversary event planned for 15th August last year after the original VE75 Party on the Clifftop on 8th May was called off.

New Milton Residents’ Association chair Alan Watson, who heads its organising steering committee, told an online meeting of the town council that social distancing requirements were still unlikely to allow large gatherings by June.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve decided this event can also not proceed due to the uncertainties,” Mr Watson said.

As reported in the A&T, the celebration had originally been promoted as “the biggest the area has ever seen”. It would have featured parades, exhibitions, a veterans’ afternoon tea, live entertainment and beacon lightings, culminating in a fireworks display.

A special We’ll Meet Again concert had also been set to take place at New Milton Memorial Centre on 8th and 8th May but that has also been axed.

Money from the events had been set to be raised for SSAFA – the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association – and the Royal British Legion New Milton branch.

Having already received town council funding, Mr Watson said he hoped to suggest to its finance and general purposes committee that this could go towards another future community event.

“We will most likely be putting forward – God and coronavirus willing – some sort of celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022,” he added.

Another event falling victim to the pandemic was the popular Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show, which had been due on 23rd-25th July at Meadowmead Farm.

It was also cancelled in 2020 but gave £17,000 to local causes from funds raised at the 2019 event.

A statement on its Facebook page said: “The working committee take our duty of care for the public, exhibitors, volunteers, and committee members seriously and due to the current coronavirus pandemic, we feel we have no alternative but to cancel the show.”

The statement said the show would return in 2022 and thanked all those who had supported the event.

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